Along with (and possibly related to) my love of oratory, is my love of poetry. It's not something I talk much about, or actively pursue, but it's there nonetheless, and likes to creep up on me occasionally, to remind me it's still there.
Most recently, this was in the form of some absolutely wonderful trailers for the BBC's Poetry Season, which feature various folk apparently going about their daily lives as usual, but with a short interruption for some poetry, before continuing as if nothing had happened.
The first trailer I saw featured Lauren Laverne, then I saw the Phil Jupitus one (which I think is my favourite so far) and the Frank Skinner one. I'm not sure whether I've seen/heard the Hugh Dennis one, and I know I definitely haven't seen/heard the Robert Webb one. I enjoyed the ones I've seen so much that I wanted to see them again (without having to watch the BBC 24/7 to do it) and made my way to the microsite on the assumption that the videos would be online.
They weren't, and for two days, I couldn't even find any kind of listing of who/what/how many until a chance glance at the description of a google search result revealed their presence and the information was found at the bottom of the TV & Radio schedule page with no kind of identifying information around it.
So for the benefit of other frustrated googlers and because the List of BBC Poetry Season Trailers (scroll to end) doesn't include links to the poems, I've included some links here:
List of BBC Poetry Season Trailers
- Frank Skinner does Where Are the Waters of My Childhood? by Mark Strand
- Phill Jupitus does A Jar of Honey by Jacob Polley
- Lauren Laverne does On Leaving Some Friends at an Early Hour by John Keats
- Hugh Dennis does This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams
- Robert Webb does Love Song also by William Carlos Williams
The presence of the listing gave me a small spark of hope that the videos might be around on the site somewhere, just badly placed, but it doesn't seem to be the case, and nobody seems to have youtubed them either, which is a disappointment. If you've seen these up online somewhere, I'd be very grateful if you left a comment pointing me to them.
Random Live Poetry
It also reminded me of something that happened a couple of months ago.
I'd gone for a meeting with a new client and was killing time in Euston station because I was early, when I spotted a crowd of people around some camera equipment and boom microphones. Being the curious sort, I ambled over and tweeted thus:
no idea why, but just happened across Griff Rhys Jones reading WH Auden's Night Mail (youtube) on the station concourse. My favourite poem.
I then took and posted the following picture:
After standing around and listening a bit more, I finally asked someone what was going on and followed up with:
has discovered it's for a telly programme to be broadcast at the end of May. Will have to keep an eye out to see if I stayed out of shot.
In true form, I completely forgot about it until tonight. On checking the schedule it turns out I missed the programme by a mere two hours. Luckily, the programme - Why Poetry Matters - is available on the BBC iPlayer. If you're viewing this after the 27th of May 2009 or can't see it because you're outside the UK, my apologies.