Following on from the early posting about Half Life of Fathers the poetry dinner is now in full swing with guests, William Blake, Issac Rosenberg, Christina Rossetti, Dylan Thomas, Seamus Heaney and whoever it was who wrote the Song of Solomon. Vanessa Gebbie is organising them into reciting their poems as follows:
I’d like to hear the visionary William Blake reading ‘The Tyger’,
When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Then Rosenberg will read Dead Man’s Dump, including:
None saw their spirits’ shadow shake the grass,
Or stood aside for the half used life to pass
Out of those doomed nostrils and the
When the swift iron burning bee
Drained the wild honey of their youth.
Christina Rossetti will go next, and read ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, with special emphasis on the lines:
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
Dylan Thomas will choose ‘And Death Shall Have No Dominion’ which closes:
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.
Then they’ll all read bits and bobs from the song of Solomon, while the brandy flows (poured by DT), and Rossetti will blush.
The last word goes to Seamus Heaney reading his Haw Lantern.
…you flinch before its bonded pith and stone,
its blood-prick that you wish would test and clear you,
its pecked-at ripeness that scans you, then moves on.