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Monday, 7 March 2011

His second best bed...

I know it's the tradition in Blogworld to give occasional shouts-out to friends we meet hereabouts, to people we know, even family - To share their words and lives further out into the world...

In keeping with this tradition, I'd like to introduce you to my friend and former colleague, Steven and HIS BLOG

Steve is beginning to find his own voice and his own life, like me, outside of the confines of the Civil Service, and there is life to be found, to be sure! Steve actually inspired me to become part of this year's inaugural World Book Night, CLICKIE -

With patrons as wide and wonderful as Oscar-winner, Colin Firth, JK Rowling, Nick Cave, Roddy Doyle, Tracy Chevalier, Antony Gormley and Damien Hirst, Gil Scot Heron and Tilda Swinton, who was I not to take part?

From World Book Night's site, "On Saturday, 5 March 2011, two days after World Book Day, the Booksellers Association, the Independent Publishers Guild, the Reading Agency with libraries, World Book Day, the BBC and RTE, one million books will be given away by an army of passionate readers to members of the public across the UK and Ireland.

The book give-away comprises 40,000 copies of each of the 25 carefully selected titles, to be given away by 20,000 ‘givers’, who will each distribute 48 copies of their chosen title to whomever they choose on World Book Night".

I was selected to take part after I had described how I intended to bring Carol Ann Duffy's collection of very diverse, uniquely voiced and quirky poems, based on well-known myths and fairy-tales, with a strong feminist twist, to a distinctly rural and somewhat isolated agricultural community, including local parishioners and passing tourists, who might serve to spread the books even further afield...

Well, I thought it was romantic!

And so, on Sunday, hot off the 'plane from Charles de Gaulle, I found myself visiting neighbours and slipping a slim copy of The World's Wife through their letterboxes, as well as dropping by my local pub to ensure that the Saturday locals could feast their eyes upon a mouth-watering display of the first 21st Century Poet Laureate's books, in black, white and fuchsia, set off by publican Val's beautiful display of hand-picked pink roses and white blooms of chrysanthemum... I'm sure the Saturday stalwart darts players didn't mind...

Anne Hathaway
by Carol Ann Duffy from The World's Wife

'Item I gyve unto my wife my second best bed ...'
(from Shakespeare's will)

The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas
where we would dive for pearls. My lover's words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights, I dreamed he'd written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer's hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love -
I hold him in the casket of my widow's head
as he held me upon that next best bed.

1 comment:

Moannie said...

What a wonderful idea the 'give away' scheme is. And that poem is just lovely, new to me, as is Carol Ann Duffy...I'll look out for her next time I venture out.

Something I wrote earlier...

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