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Launch of Magma 53 – Part 2

For part 1 of this summary of the Magma 53 launch at the Troubadour Cafe on 4th June, see this link. There was an interval before the second half of the proceedings during which the doors were opened to let heat out and air in. I considered going to the bar, seeing as my MC work was done, but by the time I’d talked to several readers and audience members, it was time to get going again. Kona did the introductions and didn’t do as I had done i.e. lose the piece of paper on which I’d written information on each reader. Mark Granier had journeyed from Ireland. Rob Ewing had come from Scotland. Amali Rodrigo trumped everyone by flying in from Mumbai, India. As before, all photos are © Mark Husmann, 2012 (click on images to make them bigger). All quotes are from poems in Magma 53.

Peter Daniels - "What he wants is missing/ like a vitamin, or cigarettes."

Katherine Stansfield - "take the measure of after-margherita me/ bare-legged, still drunk in the gazebo."

Nichola Deane - "I play to play time out of itself as rain is played from cloud"

Mark Granier - "he fell in with Wimbledon's sharp little grunts and thwacks"

Amali Rodrigo - "The Okapi/ disappears the way wind moves/ leaving no vacancy"

Rob Ewing - "I swung my pick/ and the earth kicked back"

Victor Tapner - "the acoustics of an execution/ chamber are as good/ as a studio"

Joan Hewitt - "a mere/ eight lines, a cage for thought and mood."

Ian McEwen - "a thing we heard/ beneath the language"

Susannah Gill - "the nothing after is not the same/ as the nothing before"

Maura Dooley - "...blankness which might be/ where he is now"

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. The poetry I love has always stuck in my head; I have never consciously learnt anything. I’m often sad that reading poems new to me (I’m a reader, not a listner) seem nowadays to disappear. But after one reading of Nichola Deane’s ‘Fru Ida Hammershoi Talks to Rilke about the Pianoforte’ the poem stayed with me. So many ideas to cherish.

    A poem, to me, is a three-sided affair: poet, poem, reader. But here we have five presences: poet, poem, reader, Hammershoi and Rilke. I know and love the Hammershoi paintings but someone would have to tell me why Ida decided to talk to Rilke. What would I, or anyone else, have made of the poem if it hadn’t been bracketed with that information? If it had just been called ‘Facing a Bare Wall’? I would have been alone with the words. They may have evoked the paintings, but even if they didn’t, even if I had never heard of the artist or Rilke, every line would have opened hidden corners of my mind.

    I must be honest: I too play the piano and I face a bare wall.

  2. Many thanks for the comment–a friend told me about it! It means a lot that you liked the poem! As for the exchange, there is no evidence she said any more than Hammershoi himself did–and he said sweet FA. But the desire for meaningful communication–on all sides–I think must have been overwhelming. And I also think a good many women must look at Fru Ida and think ‘that’s me’–so expressive is the movement and the stillness in the paintings–it’s fuller, in a way, than a biography, because of the desire and energy in the woman’s body. Oh, and if Rilke came to visit, wouldn’t you end up saying something to him that just said itself ? I know I’d end up either blurting out something…Or regretting it if I didn’t. Cheers, Jane!

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