In the days after Freiraum I have kept returning in my mind to one thought: how can art events have a more sustainable impact?
To ask a another question (but one that runs off that one), how can we maintain the momentum built by having an event like Freiraum in our city? When the funding machine rolls out of town… when the people with gold chains go home… when the cameras are wheeled away… when the local journalists are away elsewhere… what is left? If you, too, are asking yourself that question – perhaps the first step is to find out about John Chambers’ ‘Beacon’ project – which takes place under the umbrella of his ‘Patchwork Opera’ – find it on Facebook – or via the Speakeasy page there (I can’t give you a link, I’m afraid…).
I like Auden, but I don’t love Auden the way many other poets do. However, I really like the poem ‘September 1, 1939’. Like many truly great poems, you have to discover it for yourself. So, I won’t crucify it here, but I just want to tie these thoughts here together by quoting part of the last stanza. Auden paints a dismal picture of his world (and therefore ours) on the verge of unimaginable agitation, but delivers us from evil with this piece of wonder: “Defenceless under the night/ Our world in stupor lies;/ Yet, dotted everywhere,/ Ironic points of light/ Flash out wherever the Just/ Exchange their messages”.
The picture above shows me reading ‘Unthanks’. Thanks for all the kind comments about it. When Nick liked your work you felt like you could walk through walls and take on the armies of powerful pseuds that this world is filled with. Nick asked me to read ‘Unthanks’ at the event and I want to close with his words about it, typed in his own unique email grammar:
I would like to include your poem Unthanks for a variety reasons, the following being some of them.. it’s one of the best poems I’ve heard from someone I know for ages, maybe years, and it fits the theme of isolation in a universal way if we regard isolation as being not unconnected to love and helplessness -the two creatures in the poem, baby and poet are so closely tied together and yet isolated from one another…. Your poem with your daughter’s heartbeat is a tremendous and moving piece of work… I would like to have a recording of this so I could get it translated into Greek too… are you up for any of that…
PS am serious about your heartbeat piece… not only do i think it’s one of the best poems I’ve heard for a long time I think .. it’s both deeply and profoundly emotional and accessible as well as being innovative and utterly without pretension…. just intense and in it’s simplicity saying profound and very complex things about life…