The Poetry Station | Mametz Woods

11 10 2015

The Poetry Station – Poems to view on video

Source: The Poetry Station | Mametz Woods


Rediscovering Tanya Donelly

23 04 2014

So today I happened across Tanya Donelly’s Twitter account. I didn’t know she had one. Turns out she joined in mid 2013 and has released five EPs that I had no idea about (the Swan Song Series). I feel embarrassed to have missed this…


As you can see from the pictures, my A-level revision file (from 1992-3) paid homage to Tanya in quite fervent detail. Quite the indie fanboy, when I knew I had tickets to go and see Belly in 1995 at the Empire in Shepherd’s Bush I saved up Smartie tops with letters on so I could make a “TANYA” necklace – I threw it on the stage during the encore and she picked it up. Made my night, though as I recall she had some sort of throat infection and wasn’t allowed to speak, only sing…


The tiny handwritten lyrics are a combination of Belly, Throwing Muses, Suede and Sylvia Plath poems…I was studying English Literature. I’d like to say it was a phase but 20 years later I’m teaching English Literature and still adore all of those artists! Though Smartie tubes are made of cardboard now, so I don’t know what I’d do for a Tanya trinket in 2014. What I have done is buy all of the Swan Song Series, each of which comes with notes explaining where the songs come from, and many of which include handwritten lyric sheets. Her voice and songwriting are as good as ever. I’ve grown up, but I’m as much a fanboy as ever.

What guys look for in girls

7 04 2014

Sometimes you see a video which is so right and gives you such faith that the next generation is going to make the world better than the world they inherited. This is such a video.

Let me put it this way…

21 03 2014

Let me put it this way:
if you came to lay

your sleeping head
against my arm or sleeve,

and if my arm went dead,
or if I had to take my leave

at midnight, I should rather
cleave it from the joint or seam

than make a scene
or bring you round.

how does that sound?

Simon Armitage, from Book of Matches

Nick and the Candlestick

9 06 2010

I am a miner. The light burns blue.
Waxy stalactites
Drip and thicken, tears

The earthen womb
Exudes from its dead boredom.
Black bat airs

Wrap me, raggy shawls,
Cold homicides.
They weld to me like plums.

Old cave of calcium
Icicles, old echoer.
Even the newts are white,

Those holy Joes.
And the fish, the fish –
Christ! they are panes of ice,

A vice of knives,
A piranha
Religion, drinking

Its first communion out of my live toes.
The candle
Gulps and recovers its small altitude,

Its yellows hearten.
O love, how did you get here?
O embryo

Remembering, even in sleep,
Your crossed position.
The blood blooms clean

In you, ruby.
The pain
You wake to is not yours.

Love, love,
I have hung our cave with roses,
With soft rugs –

The last of Victoriana.
Let the stars
Plummet to their dark address,

Let the mercuric
Atoms that cripple drip
Into the terrible well,

You are the one
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.
You are the baby in the barn.