Sunday, 19 August 2007
Ruth Padel at the Edinburgh Book Festival
I went to hear Ruth Padel speak at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The event focussed on her latest book: The Poem and the Journey, which suggests that the secret to reading a poem is to see it as a journey. She talked a lot about her travels in Asia, researching her earlier book on tigers: Tigers in Red Weather and read some of her own poems including a wonderful series of re-imagining Chinese poems in the light of current environmental issues. She suggested that poets and other writers and artists can only be witnesses in the face of environmental or political issues, I think we can also have a potential role in demonstrating our beliefs in the way we live our lives and in fact I think that once artists become famous they have a duty to live a life that supports the political or other messages they convey in their work. But I digress. Ruth Padel is always a passionate and inspiring speaker and today was no different.