Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Poetry at the Ashmolean this Saturday 3 November

2 readings. 12.00 -13.30  14.30- 16.00

Check for more information about the poems and the writers on their profiles.

Each reader has 10 minutes to introduce read and answer questions.

1          Sarianne Durie            Sphinx
2          Pauletter Mae             The ghosts of the five moons
3          Jalina Mhyana            Seeding Prometheus  
4          Louise Larchbourne    Earth Wash
5          Sean Quinn                 Cloud Mantle
6          Paul Surman               The Road to Emmaus
7          Diana Moore               Ashmo-Lear-ean

Monday, 22 October 2012

Notes on the first presentation of poetry at the museum.

                                                                                                                                The Alfred Jewel  

                         The past is a storehouse of precious things:
                   curious fragments and confusing questions,
                   stories and objects, strangeness and sameness.
                   Museums remind us of the mysteries of time:
                   everything changes, everyone dies.
                   Our age will vanish, as Alfred's has done.
                      Those days are gone; these too will pass

This stanza is probably the most resonant for me of everything we did on Saturday October 6th. There was a moment as John read “those days are gone; these too will pass,” when I slipped out of time and into some other sphere, which I might be tempted to call “the eternal”. 

I have spent too little time in museums. I am only just connecting with them fully.

Giles sometimes looks as if he belongs in a museum, with his wild hair and his PhD in medaieval studies. Mark Maker was read in one of the the place’s darkest spots, which made it very hard to see or video. Someone asked him if his work was all about making marks in the landscape. That could be right. People should look at his stuff on youtube and flickr. John was impressed with Mark Maker. He said there are two kinds of poems, the ones you wish you had written yourself and the others. This came into the first category. Giles is hosting Christopher Reid at the Wantage Literature Festival on Wednesday 31. Worth a ticket I think.

Vahni bravely turned up feeling fluish, but still drew us into the magic of how a museum can turn into a place of worship or sanctuary. She looked a little like a saint with a very bright halo above her head, made by the light of her object.

David gave us the most amusing moment of the tour. I had to ask him how he had resisted the “irresistible” pull of the object in his “Do not touch.” He said he had been well brought up. 

A poet well brought up! I still remember reshaping a piece of sculpture in the Haywood, which someone seemed to have sat on. That was the seventies. No one objected. Today I would go to jail. I would not dare. David was fortunate in having a well lit place to recite. I never gave a thought to the fact that it is not allowed to make videos in there. Modern art is much to be protected. 
Jude, our very helpful hostess said it was allowed, this time.  I could not help but feel angry that a sculpture is “for our eyes only”. There is something about sculpture that is essentially haptic. It should be touched. Nothing is everlasting, nor should a museum have the delusion that it can make it so.

These days shall pass
Everything changes

I look forward to David’s poem about the Stradivarius that no one must ever play. It is in there somewhere.

Jenifer entertained us with different ways of reading nonsense. She emphasised how much we bring to the object and the poem in our listening and perceiving. I would have focused more on the meanings that lie hidden in nonsense that are sneaking through to us. I had hoped to lecture on sense and nonsense in psychology and art this term, but it was not to be. Both points of view are worthwhile.

Then it was my turn. I felt happier doing the performance than in looking at it on video afterwards. I am slowly making them into something just about watchable on Youtube, linked to the blog. 

Do tell me if you don’t want to be seen. 

Someone made off with one of my poem-pictures from it, so I suppose it wasn’t too bad. 

The audience in the Lear Gallery was a good one. I was able to lower my voice to a whisper for the relevant part, and I heard no other voices.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

If you like this weblog you might also enjoy this one


What it says on the tin- a mixed bag of things to do with poetry. If you want to write something for it please go ahead and send it to me


Please also send me anything you would like to add about the first set of performances at the Ashmolean.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

November 3 2012 Gallery Performances

The order of running is not yet fixed, but here are the times and names of performers with their works and objects.

Session 1  12.00-13.30

Session 2  14.30-16.00

Please gather in the Randolph Gallery on the left of the main entrance.

Poet                           Poet                   Object/location

Sarianne Durie                      Sphinx                                        Randolph gallery

Jalina Mhyana                       Seeding Prometheus                       Piero di Cosimo/ The Forest Fire

Diana Moore                         ASHMO-LEAR-EAN                     Nonsense Poetry/Lear exhibition

 Paulette Mae                   'the ghosts of the five moons'       'Fishing nets' by Yang Yanping (LI1486.4)

 Louise Larchbourne         Earth Wash           Virgin and child with St Joseph

Paul Surman              The road to Emmaus     John Linnell 1792-1882.      Room 66

Sean Quinn                Cloud Mantle   John, Count of Nassau, van Dyck    Room44

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Update on the road to Emmaus

It was the weather of a dream,
like some rough fabric we wore
that chafed, a thin lightning
crackling uninvited
through the general disturbance
of our flesh: but our thoughts
were worse. We stumbled past things
as if they were illusions.
The road a deep-rutted curse,
skewed by imaginings,
and us alone on it, silent
inside the mutterings of our thoughts.
Everywhere the heat shouted at us
from a text of light on rocks,
obscure sayings from a book
of the inert that seemed to say
this is it, this is all there is.
Then he was there beside us,
a stranger asking us what it was
we had said; cruel, he called us fools
and slow of heart, quoted scriptures,
as day turned to a heavy night
that blundered along with us,
until on arrival we asked him in
to eat. That’s when the dull
pressure of fear and heat was released―
and we were amazed by sudden
recognition, not of man or god,
but of a simple gesture, plain
as the blessing and breaking of bread.

Paul Surman

Friday, 5 October 2012

Sharing Poetry and Pictures Internationally

               Poetry and Pictures International

You can share your poem-pictures on this weblog, or on flickr.  http://www.flickr.com/groups/17148890@N00/

People local to the Ashmolean might prefer to join http://www.flickr.com/groups/poetryandpicturesengland/

PPI is a new artistic form. Start with a poem you have written and post it to this flickr group. You need not include any graphics, but you may use whatever style or background you think best enhances the poem. Then add one or more pictures, which you feel were inspirational in your creative writing, or which add another dimension to it (select a maximum of five images). Add your picture in the comments space. Group members will then add comments, criticism and /or creative imagery which illuminate the poet's work. Poetic responses are also encouraged.
PPI is the central hub group, but there will be many genre and linguistic satellite groups. Please suggest a genre (e.g haiku) or language group you would be willing to co-ordinate.

Please tag your picture with "Poetry and Pictures International" (copy this with the quotation marks), when you add it to the group pool!

One more thing: You are strongly encouraged to watch out for poets on flickr! When you spot one, please invite him/her to PPI!

PPI es una nueva forma artística. Comienzo con un poema que lo has escrito y que fijas a este grupo del flickr. No necesitas incluir ninguna gráficos, sino que puedes utilizar cualquier estilo o fondo que piensas lo más mejor posible realza el poema. Entonces agregar unos o más cuadros, que sensación eras inspirational en tu escritura creativa, o que agregan otra dimensión a él (seleccionan un máximo de cinco imágenes). Agregar tu cuadro en el espacio de los comentarios. Los miembros del grupo entonces agregarán los comentarios, la crítica y/o las imágenes creativas que iluminan el trabajo del poeta. Las respuestas poéticas también se animan. PPI es el grupo central del cubo, pero habrá mucho género y los grupos basados en los satélites lingüísticos. Sugerir por favor a un género (e.g haiku) o a grupo de la lengua que estarías dispuesto a coordinar.

PPI ist eine neue künstlerische Form. Verwende einfach ein Gedicht, das du geschrieben hast, und schicke es in diese Gruppe. Du mußt nicht unbedingt ein Photo als Hintergrund benutzen, es kann ein beliebiger Hintergrund sein, von dem du denkst, daß er die Bedeutung deines Gedichtes am besten unterstreicht. Füge dann, wenn du willst, noch ein oder mehrere Bilder hinzu, von denen du denkst, daß sie dich beim Schreiben inspiriert haben oder die deinem Gedicht eine weitere Tragweite verleihen (wähle maximal 5 Bilder aus). Füge die Bilder im Kommentarbereich hinzu. Gruppenmitglieder werden dann ihre Kommentare, Kritik und/oder kreative Gedanken äußern, die das Werk des Poeten näher beleuchten. Auch poetische Kommentare sind erwünscht.
PPI ist die zentrale Gruppe, es wird jedoch viele Teilgruppen zu verschiedenen Genres und Sprachen geben. Bitte schlag ein Genre (z. B. Haiku) oder eine Sprachgruppe vor, die du evtl. koordinieren möchtest.

Bitte füge deinem Bild ein Tag "Poetry and Pictures International" (mit den Anführungszeichen) hinzu, wenn du es in den Gruppenpool schickst.

Oh, und noch etwas: Es würde uns freuen, wenn du Ausschau nach anderen Poeten in Flickr hältst. Wenn du einen findest, wäre es toll, wenn du ihn nach PPI einlädst!

Poésie et photos international (PPI) est une nouvelle forme artistique. Sélectionnez d’abord un poème que vous avez composé et affichez-le dans ce groupe flickr. Il n’est pas nécessaire d’inclure des graphiques, mais vous pouvez utiliser un arrière-plan ou une présentation qui, selon vous, accentue le poème. Ajoutez ensuite une ou plusieurs photos qui ont été inspirantes lors de l’écriture ou qui ajoutent une autre dimension au poème (en choisir cinq au maximum). Ajoutez ensuite les photos dans la zone des commentaires. Par la suite, les membres du groupe ajouteront des commentaires, des critiques et des images qui éclairent le travail du poète. Les rétroactions en forme de poèmes sont aussi les bienvenues.
PPI est le centre d’activité principal du groupe, mais il y aura plusieurs groupes satellites pour différents genres et d’autres langues. Si vous désirez coordonner un groupe, veuillez nous faire parvenir vos suggestions de genres (p. ex. : haïku) et la langue.

PPIは新しく功妙な形態である。 あなたがこのflickrのグループにそれを書き、掲示する詩との開始。 グラフィックを含む必要はないがあなたが最もよく考える背景かどんな様式詩を高める使用することができる。 それからあなたが感じあなたの創造的な執筆で心に強く訴えるようだった、またはそれに別の次元を(加える最大5つのイメージを選ぶ) 1つ以上の映像を加えなさい。 コメントスペースのあなたの映像を加えなさい。 グループのメンバーはそれから詩人の仕事を照らすコメント、批評をや創造的なイメージを加える。 詩的な応答はまた励まされる。 PPIは中央ハブのグループである、しかし多くのジャンルおよび言語衛星グループある。 ジャンルを(例えばhaiku)またはあなたによってが調整して喜んでである言語グループを提案しなさい。

PPI è una nuova forma artistica. Inizio con un poem che lo avete scritto e che inviate a questo gruppo del flickr. Non dovete includere alcuni grafici, ma potete usare che cosa stile o priorità bassa che pensate il più bene aumenta il poem. Allora aggiungere una o più immagini, che tatto eravate inspirational nella vostra scrittura creativa, o che aggiungono un'altra dimensione ad esso (selezionano un massimo di cinque immagini). Aggiungere la vostra immagine nello spazio di osservazioni. I membri del gruppo allora aggiungeranno le osservazioni, la critica e/o il linguaggio figurato creativo che illuminano il lavoro del poet. Le risposte Poetic inoltre sono consigliate a. PPI è il gruppo centrale del mozzo, ma ci sarà molto genere e gruppi satelliti linguistici. Suggerire prego un genere (per esempio haiku) o il gruppo che di lingua sareste disposti a coordinare.

مكتوبه لك وظيفه من هذه المجموعه فليكر. تريدون من اي رسوم ، لكن يمكنك استخدام اي اسلوب او الخلفيه ترينه افضل يعزز القصيده. ثم يضيف احد او اكثر من الصور التي كان شعورك ملهمه لكم في الكتابه الابداعيه ، او التي تضيف بعدا اخر هو (اختيار اقصاها خمس صور). اضيف ان الصوره في التعليقات الفضاء. اعضاء الفريق ثم تضاف التعليقات النقد او الابداع الصور التي تضيء الشاعره في اعمالها. شاعريه الردود مشجعه ايضا. الارقام هي المحور المركزي المجموعه ، ولكن لن تكون هناك سواتل والنوع المجموعات اللغويه. الرجاء اقتراح النوع (هايكو مثلا) او المجموعه اللغويه كنتم علي استعداد الاحداثي

生产者价格指数是一个新的艺术形式. 首先你写了一首诗,但这个职位Flickr组. 你无须将任何图形,但你可以用任何方式或背景你认为最好的诗提升. 再加一个或多个图片,你觉得你是创作灵感,或加上另一个层面它(最多选五项图像). 您在评论画面增添空间. 小组成员将加入评论、批评和/或图像,照亮了诗人创作的工作. 诗意反应也是鼓励. 生产者价格指数,是集团的核心枢纽,而且有很多类型的卫星和语言集团. 请显示类型(例如句)或语文组你会愿意配合.

Almost there: Jerusalem reading for 6 October

Here is the version I shall read at 13.15 on Saturday 6 October in the Lear Exhibition Gallery.

      Jerusalem           A poem by Nick Owen             2012

We look over his shoulder                                             
At Shepherds standing by,  
Unmindful of the city.
An open sky is heaven enough for them.
But shining on the other hill
The artist shows so clear
The place they call Jerusalem
So far and yet so near.

A valley lies below us, bare and dark.
For me this has to be the shadow of death,
A place of desolation, fearful, stark,
Where all too many soldiers took their final breath.
Armies of the past, and of the future too;
We do not see them now upon the ground
And yet I think I hear their dreadful sound.

Over his shoulder we see some goats or sheep
In pastures almost green,
A peaceful, restful, pastoral scene;
Even the rocks are bright and clean.
He might have drawn on William Blake.
These could be northern English hills;
An English man’s Jerusalem to make,
Not covered in satanic mills.

Out of nowhere, a God without a face
Compels the souls of men to make for this.
It whispers to the world, “This is the place
Which, more than any other, is the source of bliss,
More powerful, more wonderful than any lover’s kiss.
For, if there is redemption, it is here.
Come all ye, and enter without fear”.

Our fathers went on pilgrimage to reach this holy city,
A pure white shining citadel beyond decay.
In hope to reach eternity, they made their way,
With prayers in many tongues, and oaths to say.
Some came in peace, some came in holy war
They shared a sacred dream,
Some thing, for them, worth fighting for.

Thousands fought and thousands died
And thousands more will fight and die
To hold this land.  Many have tried
To find a way of peace, but many lie
And will lie again. I ask you why?
When you believe that God is on your side
You do not count the dead, or lose your pride.

We look over his shoulder
For a dream that we hope to come real
A place of love and beauty, peaceful games,
A place with magnetism, a serene appeal,
Where conflicts end in happy resolution.
But all these hopes are turned to desperation,
The darkness spreading higher on the hill,
As war threatens death to every nation.

Christian, Moslem, Arab, Jew,
The jealous God that was just for you
Can change his mind, adding new revelation.
Acceptance might transform your indignation.
Please set aside the gun and bomb,
Or I fear the end of days will come,
Jerusalem itself will be no more.

The breathless child Lear left behind
Escaping into nonsense or fine birds
And pastoral landscapes of this remarkable kind,
Where life becomes more real, less absurd,
And men sit silently, no words
Upon their lips. Perhaps his promises had all been kept
Or maybe he has stood here, painting while he wept.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Gallery Performances for October 6th

                                            October 6th

Meet Saturday at 12.00 noon in the Randolph Gallery near the entrance

Poet                                                         Poem                                                                               Object/theme

 Giles  Watson                            Mark Maker                                               Robin Tanner's Wiltshire Hedger

Vahni  Capildeo                     Museum stands in                                         Room 32, India from AD 600

John Elinger                              The Alfred Jewel                                       The  Alfred Jewel      

David Olsen                               Please Do Not Touch                                 Barbara Hepworth Sculpture


Nick Owen                                    Jerusalem                                            Lear’s Jerusalem Picture/exhibition

Jennifer  McGowan
                  Deedledammer                                  Nonsense poetry/Lear exhibition

Performances are repeated starting at 2.30 p.m.

Edward Lear in the media, and National Poetry Day News




I may not get to the Ashmolean, but you can have this,

Good luck,

Happy Birthday Edward Lear
And the limericks we hold so dear
Five short lines
And two simple rhymes
Are enough to illicit a cheer.

The winner of the stanza competition is announced for National Poetry Day

THE WINNING POEM: 'Stone written' by Angela Stoner

Not a calm or a cool stone
It still carries the charge of its birth
the fracture of every wave smash
the bruise of every pebble smash,
every power hammer of the sea
the jarring fall of every tide
the percussive battery of stone slides
as each pebble rubs its partner up the wrong way.
It carries the record of every knockout blow
etched in white hot lightning stripes.
Angela Stoner lives in Cornwall. She runs workshops which explore the therapeutic power of writing. She has two published books Once in a Blue Moon (Fal publications) and a collection of poetry Weight and Flight (Oversteps Books). She finds the support and insight of groups such as Stanza invaluable.

Angela: "The poem was inspired by a workshop led by Alyson Hallett where she gave us stones to explore. My stone seemed to speak of the fiery relentless violence of its life. Every knock seemed marked on the stone like wounds. I aimed for percussive, repetitive phrases which would echo its experience."
John Siddique: "One of the wonderful things about poetry is that it places the life of a person or object or time into the reader’s soul. Line by line poetry can paint a picture that will stay with the reader changing the way they look at the world in a small way ever after. This poem does just that."

Angela's poem will be sent to the Forward Prize judges for consideration for the Best Single Poem of the year, and Angela will be invited to read at a future Poetry Society event.

I have been collecting stones from everywhere I have ever been for fifty years. This does nothing for me.
perhaps if we had the picture of her stone it would all come through.
I have never chosen or seen a stone that made me think this way. You could saythat was great. It has opened my mind.

I disagree.  Give us a picture, if you want to convince with your poem.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Profile: Paulette Mae

I am a dance artist and writer of fiction and poetry because I find it easier to communicate experience, insights, visions, observations through these mediums, especially those which evade the ways we’re expected to say what we mean.

I perform my poems with The Jericho Poets, and have performed with The Back Room Poets in and around Oxford, and Malika’s Poetry Kitchen in London, as well as independently.  

My poems have been published in the magazines Under the RadarThe Dawntreader and The Nail.

Paulette will read  'the ghosts of the five moons' based on the object,  'Fishing nets' by Yang Yanping (LI1486.4)