I had the privilege last night to tune into RTE radio One's Arts slot. It was a great show, featuring a piece on Pat McCabe and some book club. It was a 'weekend' book club, where you stay in a nice house in the country, eat lovely food, drink wine and chat about books. Sounds like my kind of weekend. Anyway the book the group were reading was 'The Seige of Krishnapur' by JG Farell, and I smiled.
I felt I had come full circle with this book because it was the novel I was reading on the first writing workshop weekend I ever attended. It was in Dingle and I finished JG Farrell's magical book that weekend and started writing my own novel(no comparison!) Eoin McNamee facilitated the workshops and I'm happy to say that I kept both the opening paragraph and the last paragraph of the novel much as I wrote them then. I still think they're rather good. Now if only I can get a publisher to agree!
Then came serendipity#2. Colm Keegan (who blogs here) http://theblogsthejob.blogspot.com was reviewing two new books of poetry and he read Grace Well's visceral poem which details some horrific domestic abuse. My novel 'The Heron's Flood' -(my title, the agents call it something else) deals with, among other things, domestic violence so I considered myself relatively aware of the nuances and horror of the whole subject.
But Grace's poem shows the violence in such an immediate light and the language used punches out the horror so well that I think it should be made compulsory reading for everyone. I could not help but be both moved and maddened by it, I felt my blood boil and my heart weep for the abused.When will it stop, people? When will the abusers stop mentally and physically torturing people they purport to love?
Listen to it here. http://www.rte.ie/radio1/arena - thurs May 27th Colm makes a great job of reading it, he is a very fine poet and writer himself and it was interesting to hear the poem in a male voice. It added a new dimension, for of course it is not only women and children who are victims.
After all that I was very glad to sit out my back garden as dusk settled and contemplate the Hawthorn tree in full bloom. Thank God for Nature, its capabilities to soothe our souls. Wish I could do it justice in a poem...........
Off to York for the weekend, mebbe I'll be inspired