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Friday, 21 July 2017

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Before I get cracking, this is not a literary review. I know a lot of you come here looking for high-brow criticism and insights, so, you know, I just wanted to let you down gently.

I'm going to be talking about Robert Sheppard's Petrarch 3, though, which is literary. I'm a big fan, I must say. I've been to a few readings and seen him perform from this, and it was brilliant, from the laughter at a poem from a dog's point of view, to the particular silence one feels after a sonnet addresses Jimmy Saville in, well, in quite the way he does... I'm sure there's loads of people more qualified than me that have reviewed his work, so I'm not going to do that here. Instead, I wanted to say how refreshing it was.

I've been in some trouble lately. Almost everything has been getting me down, from sunsets to birds gaily tweeting, and the carefree way a child, er, bounces a ball... Or something... But the things that really trouble me are love songs (though music in general has plenty of thorns). Whether they're about unrivalled beauty and devotion, or about the hurtiest pain and wanting to end it all, they've all been getting me teary. It seems that when you're bleeding, the world is full of sharks sniffing your lost liquids (or a more appropriate and well-formed analogy).

When Petrarch 3 came in the post the other day, though, it was full of pointed references to pain, to loss, to love, to awe and more, and yet it did not cause an avalanche in me. Here was love and its process presented, despite having been processed, in all its allusory [to the 'original translation' - the one Sheppard uses, anyway] and thematic power, yet I enjoyed it without pain. The idea of being stung after self-acknowledging your supposed sense of security - the way it happens in Petrarch's third sonnet - is real for many of us, and certainly made me think back to just over a year ago, but it didn't pull at the thread of me, making me fall apart.

I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think it was Sheppard's original intention to give me work about love that didn't upset me. I might be wrong, but I think he just wanted to write good poetry. Well, he's done both, just in case you wanted to know, and I think it's a welcome change.

G'night folks! Peace, love and light.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Irony o'Clock

'Time'
I was recently lucky
enough to go to Italy to one of my friends' weddings. It was a lovely time, and if you're friends with me on Facebook then you can have a gander at some of the pics I took. The purpose of today's post, tho, is to look at what went on during my connection at Munich.

I had about an hour in Munich to spend before my regional flight to Trieste, so didn't fell I needed to hurry. Almost straight out of the arrivals gate, I saw this wonderful wall (not a Wonder Wall, I hasten to add), pictured above, in front of me. I sort of smirked and thought, 'hey, language... That's one of my main interests,' and carried on walking. Then I realised that I was looking at words to do with time, and time is one of my biggest preoccupations, too, so I stopped, went back, and took the photo.

Just out of shot (to the Zeit), was (is?) a wee entry hole, a doorway without the door. I nearly walked off again, because this white-walled area looked like a security station. I got a bit bold, though, and thought 'well the worst that can happen is that I get looked at oddly by some airport staff, and maybe asked what I'm doing and/or told to piss off', but the possibility of being rewarded by embracing the spirit of adventure, which I am so often too scared/unable to do, spoke louder to me. So I edged my way towards this entrance-to-what, and, without wishing to spin this out to ridiculous levels, saw that what was inside was actually an exhibit.

I was genuinely very excited. As I've said, it was ticking two of my main interest boxes, but also there was the thrill of living in the moment, listening to my gut, and being lucky enough to have this mini-museum there for perusal in what I thought was just going to be a grey old run from gate to gate. To your left - as you went in - there were three mini sand-timers that you could spin round, and I took the opportunity to 'childishly' interact with what was on offer, and watch their contents trickle.

I was still aware, however, that I couldn't spend all day here. At that point - because I hadn't been told when I checked in at Manchester - I wasn't sure if I needed to get my bags back at Munich, then check them in again. I wasn't sure how big the airport was, how long it takes for bags to reappear from the plane (it seemed to take forever when I was going on family hols as a kid...), or how big the queues would be around the place. When I thought about it like that, panic revved its motorcycle in the garage of my gut, so I decided to take pictures of all the info boards and read them later. As I turned my camera on and waited for it to warm up, I read the first line of the introductory panel. It outlined the broad strokes of 'the' philosophy of time. I got that pre-tingle one gets when one feels horny and has decided what porn one is going to watch - and I couldn't wait to get to the money shot.

I readied my camera, and was about to focus the first shot, when an airport employee stuck his head through the entrance, said something in German, saw my blank expression, then said in English "Sorry, we are closing."

He apologised again and escorted me out.