Evening folks. This week has been the first week in a long time which has felt like it’s settled down into normality after a really busy period. It has been a busy week at work – I’ve been doing extra lessons all over the place because I’ve had eight pupils doing music exams but apart from that, my time has been my own. I’ve been getting back into doing lots of reading – I am ashamed to admit that I let my reading slide whilst keeping up with everything else in the last month or so. I’ve also been trying to re-order my collection and put a few newer poems in and have sent that out to a couple of friends to get their opinion. I’m finding this process quite difficult – normally I don’t mind getting feedback and critique on a poem or poems but this feels really hard and very different. The lovely friends who are looking at it for me have been really positive and constructive but even still I’m finding it quite challenging – I guess there is a reason why we call a collection a ‘body’ of work.
I am now allowed to tell you my last piece of news however, which I wasn’t allowed to share before. In October I will be Poet-in-Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival. I’m really excited about it and hope to see a few of you at the festival. It is all very much in the planning stages at the moment but if you would like to find out more about the festival you can follow this link: http://www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk/whats-on/poet-in-residence-2014/ I’m doubly excited that the fantastic poet Phoebe Power will be the Apprentice Poet-in-Residence as well – I think it’s going to be great working with her.
Today I did the Walney Fun Run 10k race. My time was 54.21 which I was pretty pleased with – it’s a PB for me for 10k, which isn’t hard, as I’ve only done one 10k race anyway. I really want to be under 50 minutes by the end of the year so I’m on track. I’m really enjoying running at the minute – have just entered for the Endmoor 10k on the 9th July – probably a bit too soon to knock any more time off my PB – and apparently it is a very hilly course – probably should have checked that before I signed up….
So today’s Sunday Poem is by Rebecca Farmer – another winner of the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition. Her pamphlet is called ‘Not Really’ which follows on in a pleasing fashion from Ben’s pamphlet ‘For Real’ which featured in last week’s blog…Rebecca’s pamphlet is a lovely yellow colour and I really enjoyed her reading at the launch at the end of May. I’m always a sucker for a funny poem and the poems in this pamphlet have plenty of humour – as you’ll see from the poem I’ve selected as the Sunday Poem this week. ‘Home Help’ reminds me a little of my good friend Jennifer Copley’s poetry – it is surreal, but rooted firmly in its own inner logic. It leaves you wanting more but in a satisfying kind of way. This poem made me smile – anybody who has owned or met a border collie will identify with the use of the word ‘bossy’ to describe them. This poem follows quite a few poems in the pamphlet about the diagnosis and subsequent illness of a partner – so although the poem is a funny poem – it did make me smile – there is also something very moving about it as well.
Rebecca Farmer lives in London. She was born in Birmingham and her parents came from Dublin. She read Drama at Manchester University and is now studying for a PhD at Goldsmiths with a focus on Louis MacNeice. Her poems have appeared in various magazines including The London Magazine, The North, Poetry Review, The Rialto, Smiths Knoll, Under the Radar and The Warwick Review. If you would like to order ‘Not Really’ you can do so from the Poetry Business website at http://www.poetrybusiness.co.uk/rebecca-farmer
Hope you enjoy the poem!
Home Help – Rebecca Farmer
God is hoovering my house.
He doesn’t have to
but, like a bossy border collie,
He rushes around determined to help.
Next He wants to make a cup of tea.
Soon, He’ll be making soup.
When I suggest He has a rest
God just puts His head on one side
and opens the ironing board,
humming his favourite hymn