Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I read a lovely article by the writer, Jane Gardam, in the Observer a few days ago, about finding some poems by poets associated with what I think may be her home town, Sandwich in Kent, and posting poems around the town. "Late one night we set out with ladders and lanterns (poetry should be subversive)", she says", looking for lamp-posts. But there were none suitable and we went instead the next morning around the shops, offering poems for their windows... It was a great success. A doctor's surgery was delighted with a poem... The dogfood shop was besieged for copies of (another poem)...The children who go to the ice-lolly shop in the afternoons liked Spike Milligan's "Things that go 'bump' in the night" so much that we let them keep it till Christmas... A young man - all in black gear - came down Paradise Row, stopped outside the house with a sonnet by (local lad) Christopher Marlowe.... on the door and recited it aloud all through."

Isn't that lovely? And just what poems and literature and art should be for. A sharing of beautiful thoughts and beautiful vision amongst as many people as possible. I asked my son, Nick, who composes music, whether he could not think of ways of posting up little snippets of music on tiny loudspeakers around the streets so that as we walk we move from music to music as we pass below a lamp-post. An idle, but a lovely thought.

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