13 August 2019

Cascading over the edge of reason

An illustrated reading of an extract from Those Footsteps Behind: Around the World in 50 Poems.

04 July 2019

The route to the future lies through the past

A reading of an extract from Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

This poem was first performed in 2009 by Fabien Rapin as part of 'Poetry & Jazz' by the Finn-Brit Players, at Arkadia International Bookshop in Helsinki, Finland.

26 June 2019

Imaging and footsteps

At first glance, the two volumes of poetry that I have recently self-published may not appear to be very closely connected.  They are, however, conceived as different sides of the same coin. To put it another way, Magnetic Resonance Imaging is the yin to the yang of Those Footsteps Behind.

Some of the material in Magnetic Resonance Imaging may be familiar to readers of this blog.  At a personal level, it represents "the Finland years" and was mostly written in the period 2005-2009.  The themes of pain and loss play a large role, whether physically or emotionally.  Moreover, the point of view is very much an inwardly directed gaze.  The intention is that this is enhanced by the use of the structure of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, as the music bounces around in the writer's mind.

On the other hand, the material in Those Footsteps Behind was, in chronological terms, written later. In this case, the writing represents the period 2012-2016. However, this is not necessarily synchronous with the time at which any events represented in the work took place.

The overarching themes now have become travel and time, and the point of view has become more outwardly focused. On the surface, the work is possibly more descriptive of physical landscapes than of emotional ones. The use of illustrative photographs, I hope, enhances this type of imagery. However, the poems in this case are intended to initiate at least some resonance in linking the concrete world of the traveller's footsteps to the intangible world of the traveller's experience.  Occasional echoes from other past and future travellers arise here and there to further muddy the mix.

The reader may choose to view the connections in different ways, of course: maybe not just inward-looking and outward-looking, but possibly pain and recovery, or shade and light.  Once beyond the writer's reach, words take on their own lives in a reader's hands, after all.  However, these two volumes will remain in the writer's mind as, if not twins, at least siblings.

"if they photographed my head they'd probably see her.
she's always there"
(Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

"life for us from this point on
means chasing lions in our pyjamas."
(Those Footsteps Behind)