I went to a poetry evening last week, organised (rather improbably, you might think) by the International Visual Communications Association. Actually, it was the scriptwriters who organised it, and a very good idea it was too.
Poetry reminds us how words affect us in so many different ways. It might be the aptness of associations, the power of metaphor, or quite simply the sound of the words themselves.
I chose U.A. Fanthorpe’s poem Atlas, a geriatric love song in which she refers poignantly to the daily chores that spouses perform for each other. She mentions WD40, Road Fund Tax and planting bulbs, reminding us of the little tasks that uphold “the permanently rickety structures of living … as Atlas did the sky”. I love it for its cleverness, and rightness, in elevating the everyday into the heroic.
I was then bowled over by a brilliant and highly erotic poem about a pole-dancer, written by a poet I had never heard of but whose works I shall now seek out – Grevel Lindop. Finally, for the umpteenth time, I revelled in Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. It’s a sublime piece of nonsense that enchants simply by the sounds the words make.
An occasional blast of poetry does us a world of good, like a snatch of Mozart floating free above the tone-deaf world of business communication.