Thursday, 21 June 2018

Love is an Event

John Berger --- 'You can plan events, but if they go according to your plan they are not events.'

Love is an event; in Berger's sense of what an event means. If love went according to plan, it would not be love but an evening of well-scheduled television.

'Dad, do you have to watch the news seven times a day?'

'It's important to know what's happening in the world.'

Nothing is as clear-cut as the Radio Times.

My father would circle the programmes. Flick to the news channel.

'Dad, can you---?
'Be quiet! This is very important.'

'But you've already watched it.'

'Shush! I can't concentrate now.'

Love does not happen at 6 o' clock each day. It comes unexpectedly in care homes. The sun is hotter when it is present. Even in the face of death, love is strong and bold and can cope with anything. On the day that I saw and heard my father die, love swept into the room.

Friday, 8 June 2018

My First Book

The title of my first book 30 Love Poems is self-explanatory. I have committed myself to one universal theme, namely love.

I am aware that Pablo Neruda published a book called 20 Love Poems. The Camden Town branch of Waterstones reminded me of this just the other day. Why is Pablo Neruda more famous than I? Several possible reasons occur:---

a) He was South American and presumably had Latin fire in his blood; I am English and therefore sexually repressed.

b) Neruda smoked a pipe; I have a penchant for Werther's Orginals boiled sweets.

c) Possibly. He was a better poet.

Yet, despite these self-damning comparisons, I remain buoyant. My reasoning: Neruda and myself have been in love at some point in history. Therefore, our material is essentially drawn from the same source.

Imagine a penniless Will Shakespeare. He took the journey down to London with only an ink quill to his name. I am already in London; and I am blessed with smart phone technology.

I have another advantage over The Bard. That being, I have written well on Othello, Richard III and Coriolanus. Surely, this gives me an edge.

As for my love theme. I am certain that the best love poems are written by the hurt, pained and confused. Think of Yeats He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven or Keats' Bright Star. These poems talk of longing and unfulfilled passions. They make no mention of great sex-lives or marital bliss.

During the process of writing 30 Love Poems, I kept a journal running. That would be where the hidden detail resides: in prose. Sadly, however, it shall be thrown upon a bonfire moments before my death. Byron did much the same.

So, my first book is done and dusted. It is what it is. Now I am finding new themes and already writing my second book.

My father never was much of a poet. But occassionally he would slip a simile into the conversation.

'Daniel, woman are like busses.'

'Why is that Dad?'

'If you wait long enough, another one will come along.'

'Thanks. I only wish they'd stick to the timetable.'