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About Nick

  • Birthday 13/08/1979


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  1. I agree with Brumb here: favourites are simply not possible for me. There are books that I like more than others, of course, but if you keep reading you keep finding new ones. To say 'these are my favourites' is to tie yourself down, almost to stop reading. For me also, it is an exploration both of the world, and myself, which will not stop. What is my favourite book? The one I'm about to read.
  2. If so, I'd suggest 'The Big Country'. My favourite western and, indeed, one of my favourite films - mainly because there is very little 'western' about it. Certainly has one of the best film scores ever. As for films I haven't seen: The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, anything like that I've never built the strength for.
  3. You're right, I think, the films are completely mindless, boring, drivel, as films (isn't Darth Vader's helmet just a bit large?) - but most people have never watched them 'as films'. I believe they appeal on a much broader and deeper level than that. For me, they have been part of my upbringing - watching endless reruns on TV and worn-out videos. I find them lacking in many ways, as films, but it is the universe they create that captivates, and I don't think that is an aesthetic quality. The prequels are bad - trying to explain what was one of the joys of the first films, that they left much unexplained. Which is why I've written my own, Episode 32: THe Hunt for the Jedi! No, seriously, I love Harriet's enthusiasm for them, and that, I guess, is the point - it either captivates you and enthralls you on some unfathomable level, or it doesn't.
  4. I suggest 'Corpus' by Michael Symmons Roberts, just won the Whitbread Poetry Book of the Year over here. But if anyone has any other ideas we could always vote again.
  5. Nick


    Hi Sue, go ahead with it. I'm sure more people will join in. As long as we have say one structured, regular book a month then you should be able to post up any book that you also happen to be reading. I only suggested those five because I thought most people would have at least one. Nick.
  6. Nick


    Now you've terrified me. I was getting used to being tucked away in a corner where no one could see. Will it have its own sub-forums, or just threads? I think Sue suggested elsewhere the possibility of also discussing classic poetry. Perhaps two sub-forums, one on contemporary, one on pre-1950, would be good? I don't know.
  7. If you don't have the book you can buy it from only £2.85 at abebooks.co.uk Otherwise I suggest bookbrain.co.uk To get us started, here's the blurb about Longley and the book: "The poems collected in Snow Water find their gravity and centre in Michael Longley's adopted home in west Mayo, but range widely in their attention - from ancient Greece to Paris and Pisa, from Central Park to the trenches of the Somme. Meditations on nature and mortality, there is a depth and delicacy to these poems, a state of lucid wonder, that allows for the easy companionship of love poem and elegy, hymns to marriage and friendship and lyric explorations of loss. Though the embodiment of these themes is often found in the wildlife of Carrigskeewaun and Allaran Point - the plovers and oystercatchers, whooper swans and snow geese, the hares and otters, the marsh marigolds and yellow flags - Snow Water is emphatically a celebration of humanity. These are all, in a way, poems of love and kinship - even the magnificent sequence that links the horrors of the Great War with those of the Trojan War, and with all the wars between. What Longley says of Edward Thomas might easily be said of him: 'The nature poet turned into a war poet as if/He could cure death with the rub of a dock leaf'. Full of intensity and grace, tenderness and wisdom, these are poems of deceptive simplicity from a craftsman of international stature." The first poem is 'Overhead': The beech tree looks circular from overhead With its own little cumulus of exhaltations. Can you spot my skull under the nearby roof, Its bald patch, the poem-cloud hanging there? This is a great entrance to the book - almost a programmatic poem in the style of the Classics he emulates elsewhere. We seem to zoom in on his home and him, searching him out, to begin the book, to be drawn into his world. It is only two simple sentences, one descriptive, the other asking. The question itself, I think rather like Frost's 'The Pasture', again invites us inwards. The richness of the tree seems deliberately contrasted with the bald head, but we are given the word 'looks' as a hint to what may not be true. This poem has a lot in common with 'Thaw' by Edward Thomas (one of Longley's acknowledged influences). There we have the same view of the world from above, although for different purposes. There's a lot to discuss just in the two lines of this poem. So I'll hope others can join in.
  8. Nick


    Okay, we'll start with Longley then; I'll begin a new thread. Hopefully if we just get going more people will join in - tell everyone you think might be interested. I'm just going to discuss one poem - the problems I have with it, the questions, and, inevitably, a little of what I like about it - but you can approach it whichever way you like. Taking ages to read poems is a good thing! What we really need is a whole forum for poetry, if not a whole board, so that each book can have its own discussion area with several threads. Maybe they'll promote us if we show lots of activity, otherwise we can rebel and create our own. Nick.
  9. Hello, I believe this is the first post to the poetry forum. I'm neither an administrator or an authority on poetry, and hope that after I've initiated this someone more capable might take over. I suggest discussing one, or two books a month in detail, with the possibility of posting any kind of critique you want to the forum - of the whole collection, of one poem, of one image. Above all, I would honour honesty and accuracy, not heedless praise. Being half-immersed in the British poetry scene I suggest to begin with picking one book from the T S Eliot Prize Shortlist: The Never Never by Kathryn Gray Snow Water by Michael Longley The Soho Leopard by Ruth Padel Landing Light by Don Paterson Dart by Alice Oswald My preference is for Longley, but I hope to set up a voting system for this.
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