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Uncategorized February 14, 2011

PIGEON HOLES

I have been reminded that, after an argument a year or three or four back about clutter, I wrote this poem after filling up the pigeon holes. I am currently engaged in trying to de-clutter the room around it and envisage a triumphant journey to our local recycling bins at dead of night.  I met

Uncategorized February 4, 2011

DEGREES OF KINGSHIP

How many degrees of separation does the famous concept stipulate? I imagine that to have been named after a famous public figure doesn’t count, but I was named after King Edward VIII who, just four months after my birth, abdicated.  Dr Alfred Blunt, Bishop of Bradford. Portrait by Bassano, February 1936. National Portrait Gallery, London. And

Uncategorized January 17, 2011

REMEMBERING SUSANNAH YORK

I am saddened to hear of Susannah York’s death. Her special radiance survives in her film performances, but just now I am remembering watching her from the wings one night in Stratford, being superlative as she spoke Gertrude’s speech, ‘There is a willow grows aslant a brook’ (Hamlet Act IV, sc.vii), describing Ophelia’s death to Laertes and the

Uncategorized January 16, 2011

WORDS OF WELCOME

                    A hundred thousand welcomes. I could weep                     And I could laugh, I am light and heavy. Welcome.                                         

Uncategorized January 14, 2011

APOLOGIES

Apologies for the uncharacteristic gap this week. Book deadlines have loomed (and been met) and plans for the National Theatre Platform on 23 March are afoot. Hope to make up for my momentary silence this weekend. Updates to my website will also appear very soon, including the latest news on the book’s publication and related events.

Uncategorized December 19, 2010

DECEMBER ROSES

     I How peaceful can coexistence be? Chilling the blush of the rose Drawing faint heat from its cheeks The crystalline coldness melts Unique designs are lost. This trinity is miracle enough  Beetle, Bud, Ice. What god would intervene? This the majestic cruel purpose?      II Snowing again I trudge across our street

Uncategorized December 13, 2010

DEEP AND CRISP AND EVEN

Thaw follows frost; hard on the heel of spring Treads summer sure to die, for hard on hers Comes autumn with his apples scattering; Then back to wintertide, when nothing stirs.      (A. E. Housman’s translation of Horace Odes 4.7) _______________ GAYTHORNE ROAD, WEST BOWLING As a boy in Bradford, I lived just 100

Uncategorized December 6, 2010

SONG OF THE KITCHEN-TABLE LEAR

       Each a good egg or an empty shell     What can these portraits silently tell     Something of culture or civilization     These wafer-thin waifs sans fertilization?     Storm in an eggcup – Lear and his clown –     One’s kept his Motley, one’s lost his crown.     There’s drama revealed in all