Stride (or rather Rupert Loydell, Stride’s long-term editor) has selected two of my poems for the magazine, published on 23 and 29 March this year respectively. (Stride is also permanently on my blogroll (right).)
The first, is here: Robert Sheppard resists | Stride magazine
This is ‘Song for the Eye’ which I wrote as an
‘excitation for Steve Boyland’. I have two other ‘excitations’ – the idea was
to write poems for creative artists in the hope that they might pick up on the
poems’ oblique inciting to creative action – and this is the third, for the
singer and sound artist Steve Boyland. He and I worked briefly together with
Jo Blowers (one of the other excitations
was for her), on a vocal piece that we performed a couple of times (and I write
about one of those occasions here: http://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2014/10/robert-sheppardsteve-boylandjo-blowers.html)
The poem (which I read on the video above) is a collage of images, although singing is mentioned, hence the title. The odd – weird – thing is that after sending Steve the poem he was hit by a motorbike, a bit like in the poem. The excitation still stands, though I doubt he’d rise to it after that! Based in Liverpool, before the Pandemic I saw Steve – and saw him perform – often, solo and with others. Less so in recent months. There’s a video of him performing on the weblink above.
The excitation to Jo Blowers was published in Unfinish as ‘Excitation for Jo Blowers’ and was written for a 2013 performance at the Bluecoat, Liverpool.
The excitation to Pete Clarke, the third one, was published in English.
The second poem in Stride is from the birthday series Burnt Journals (which I write about here Pages: Robert Sheppard: Four Burnt Journal poems published on Litter (links) and here: Pages: Robert Sheppard: For Lee Harwood Burnt Journal 1939 (from Berlin Bursts), poems written using images of the dedicatee’s birth year. This one is for Geraldine Roberts-Stone, a former student of mine, who lives and works in Liverpool. She is an expert in women’s poetry of the Second World War, though that is not particularly relevant to the poem. More relevant is the fact she is proudly of Welsh heritage and she sings. There are a couple of private jokes embedded in the poem, but it is still a public fantasia of her year of birth (which, of course, I remember, unlike some other years treated in the series; 1939, for Lee Harwood, for example! See link above).This poem is a bit too long for my brief videos, but by reading it fast (and with some appropriate animation, I hope you'll agree) I've done it.
Read 'Burnt Journal 1970' here: Robert Sheppard sees the future in the past | Stride magazine
I hope you like these two poems, both dedicated to Liverpool friends. Indeed, I saw Geraldine the other Friday. Both poems involve or suggest singing. There the resemblance ends – and that’s no problem.
Thanks to Rupert, as ever, for publishing. He also selected two poems from the related 'Empty Diary' sequence (as well as years before publishing my book of that title!) here: Pages: Robert Sheppard: The last two Empty Diary poems are published on Stride
Around the same time as my two, Patricia Farrell had another of her 'troubadour' poems published on Stride: it's here: Patrica Farrell is neither error nor the other fellow | Stride magazine
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