Follow by Email

Saturday, November 14, 2020

It’s 15.37 on 14th November 2020, my grey, overcast 65th birthday

It’s 15.37 on 14th November 2020, my grey, overcast 65th birthday, rainy enough to abandon a walk in my new duffle coat, the whole day overcast by the Coronavirus Pandemic. I think we would be celebrating otherwise - if the world were different. A party, even. The only cheering thing has been the ‘resignation’ of The Cum (as he appears in my recent poems): he’s shot himself off through the letterbox of Number 10 for the final time. I have to consider how to react in the poems I am writing at the moment, versions of Keats’ sonnets. See here for that part of the ‘English Strain’ and links to the rest of the project (so far) here: 

http://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2020/09/an-overdub-understudy-version-of-keats.html

 


Five years ago it was a different story (see picture above) and I’d like to share some links to records of that day, one of our big parties, events we started in Esher, years before, and perhaps entered legend under the guise of our Smallest Poetry Festival in the World in 1994. There is little recording of this event except this magnificent t-shirt design by Stephen Sheppard.

 


See here for more on that event: http://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2017/04/ship-of-fools-press-exhibition-smallest.html

 But five years ago was recorded more. Photos and videos, even. A party at which I was surprised to receive a book, An Educated Desire, anonymously edited by Scott Thurston, a series of over 60 poems and/or images made by poets and artists, for me. I am still stupendously grateful, and you can read about it here:

 http://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2015/11/an-educated-desire-for-robert-sheppard.html

and here:

http://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2016/11/robert-sheppard-at-60-educated-desire.html

and still purchase it from Knives, Forks, Spoons; it's available HERE,  along with a sample and a list of contributors. 

 


BUT I also decided to do something myself at this party. I played a set of songs on guitar and voice and harp. A small fragment of the set (a big mistake to do this at my own party!) was filmed and may be encountered here:

https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2020/03/if-dylan-can-release-his-back-catalogue.html

There was, in fact, this give and take: there was, also, a fantastic party (of which I am releasing no details here.) Do I dare to imagine that we might be able to meet like this again? I do dare. As Horace Silver finishes his solo at 16.15 and I post this into the social mediation of a blogpost.