Saturday evening I met one of my heroes. My favourite living poet, Tony Harrison.
He read his poetry and talked. It was an incredible evening. His words are so jam packed with truth and emotion. It was a stunning evening and I was euphoric to have heard him and been able to speak to him afterwards.
As you know, my moniker of kumquat comes from my favourite TH poem; 'A Kumquat for John Keats'. He read 'Bookends' that evening and the power of his voice was electrifying. I hope you appreciate it too;
Baked the day she suddenly dropped dead
we chew it slowly that last apple pie.
Shocked into sleeplessness you're scared of bed.
We never could talk much, and now don't try.
You're like book ends, the pair of you, she'd say,
Hog that grate, say nothing, sit, sleep, stare…
The 'scholar' me, you, worn out on poor pay,
only our silence made us seem a pair.
Not as good for staring in, blue gas,
too regular each bud, each yellow spike.
At night you need my company to pass
and she not here to tell us we're alike!
You're life's all shattered into smithereens.
Back in our silences and sullen looks,
for all the Scotch we drink, what's still between 's
not the thirty or so years, but books, books, books.