Film Review: “Paterson” – a mood poem

I’ve just watched “Paterson” – a Jim Jarmusch film about a bus driver who secretly writes poetry and delights in overheard conversation.  It’s a really gentle, observant film with not much action, but a lot of listening.  Here’s a really good summary of it by reviewer Mark Kermode, who sums it up as a ‘mood poem”

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W H Auden – in an age of Anxiety

This particular BBC documentary by Adam Low on W H Auden shows how well his poetry is written, how current and up-to-date it sounds.  His “Funeral Blues”  (“Stop all the clocks….”) became the go-to poem for funerals after it featured in the film “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.  And after the calamitous World Trade Centre bombing of 11 Sept – THE public poem which the New York Times and others turned to, to sum up the times was Auden’s poem “September 1st, 1939”, just before England announced its entry into world war 2.

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“How to be a Poet” published this week

If you’ve ever wanted advice on “How to be a Poet”, there’s a book with precisely that title, by key UK poetry publisher Nine Arches press, published in a few days’ time (20th December 2017.)  It’s written by Jo Bell and Jane Commane – who are poets and editors in their own write (right).

 

The book is a sizeable 200 pages long, on sale for about £15 (depending whether you’ve buying in a real bookshop or an online retailer) and as well as Jo and Jane’s insights, includes articles by “special guests”.

How will this book help my writing?

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Poetry/wonder (Lucille Clifton 1936-2010)

Happy Birthday, poet Lucille Clifton.  We celebrate you; your arrival and what you made, in the time that you had.

“The mistake teachers sometimes make is that they think art and poetry – they think that’s about answers and it’s not about that, it’s about questions.  So you come to poetry not out of what you know – but out of what you wonder.”

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