Sunday, 4 November 2012

Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty ...

Jonny by Ben Hughes

Having spent all week poorlified, I was a bit apprehensive about yesterday, which comprised a day of poetry workshops led by Sue Boyle and Sara-Jane Arbury, a reading, and an evening event of poems and art as part of the Faces {Bath} collaboration with poets from the Bath Poetry Cafe.   Plus the drive to Bath and back.   I'd been looking forward to it for ages and really didn't want to miss it.  But would I be able to snuffle and cough my way through a whole thirteen and a half hours away from Settee of Sickness?  I needn't have worried.  The poetic spirit is always willing, it seems, even when the flesh is weak.

And what a day it was.  Something clicked in the workshops and I emerged with enough material for several new poems.  I had a lovely lunch with Pameli Benham and the afternoon reading was convivial.  As for the evening, it ran beautifully smoothly to a packed Elwin Room in the BRLSI.  Such a privilege for my words to share a space with such talented artists and poets.  

It's a funny thing responding to a portrait of a person you've never met.  It feels very intrusive to imagine a whole new life for them.  Take, for instance, the two depictions of a student by R Scott Fraser.  As the eye focusses first on the earring(s), so did my poem.  I imagined it a family heirloom, which led to the family being in exile from a distant hot homeland.  So I had to laugh when I mentioned the earring to Scott and he replied 'Oh, that was just cheap rubbish. I had to work really hard to make it look that good.' Then the coup de grâce.  'She's just a girl working down the pub, you know.'

Portrait in Spring by R Scott Fraser

Of course, no one's ever 'just a girl working down a pub', but I take his point.  Hooray for art, beauty and the imagination.   

1 comment:

  1. He certainly captured that look of questing, sensual innocence..!