Monday, November 14, 2011

The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival 2011

Notes: iii/viii

An ordinary thing at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival: you will be blindsided by a poem of formidable beauty whilst you wait for something else to occur. Two moments like this last year, both left me close to tears. The first: Don Patterson’s close reading of Frost’s West Running Brook, the sequence of his analysis now forms part of set of easily accessible memories to which I return often when quiet and alone on trains in the morning or whilst tending to a flock of small white milk jugs in the pantry at work. The second: Marie Howe’s reading of After the Movie, which lead me to ravenously re-examine Wittgenstein. Of course, I was very excited by Campbell’s reading and it was nothing but a pleasure to hear Fergus Allen’s poetry and my beautiful friends were with me. But last weekend I was really waiting to hear Hass’ lecture on Czesław Miłosz and then really just waiting for his reading on the Sunday evening. I could barely sit still through Maurice Riordan’s elegant poetry: waiting at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival is magnificent. But then two readings caught me by surprise and I am all the happier for having heard them. The first was Oliver Reynolds on Friday night. The second was Emily Berry on Saturday afternoon. Emily Berry later. Oliver Reynolds this evening.