Thursday, 26 February 2009

Polly Clark reading at the Scottish Poetry Library

Last night I was at the launch of Polly Clark's new collection Farewell My Lovely. She read for an hour in total, half an hour from this new collection and half an hour from her earlier collections Kiss and Take Me With You. She has a lovely reading voice and an engaging manner. Her poetry is wonderful, very vivid and with an enviable ability to look at the familiar from strange angles, the behaviour of a dog described as an operatic performance for example. She has been a zoo keeper and her poetry often deals with the natural world, as in Elvis the Performing Octopus:

Elvis changing from spilt milk to tumbling blue,
Pulsing with colour like a forest in sunlight.

Elvis does the full range, even the spinning top
that never quite worked out, as the striplight fizzes

and the flylamp cracks like a firework.
Elvis has the water applauding,

continue reading this poem.

Her topics are wide ranging though and also include snooker and roadworks. If you've never read her work, I'd definitely recommend buying one of her collections (you can buy them from her website) or going along to hear her read if you get a chance.

11 comments:

YowlYY said...

Thank you for posting this poem excerpt, Juliet - I can clearly see the octopus, it's beautiful!

a.c.b. said...

that poetry snippet make me smile, i love it! i am going to look into her stuff. i am always looking for new things to read. thanks for the suggestions. i wish i could go to a reading but i assume the scottish poetry library is nowhere near me?

Coastcard said...

Sounds as though you had a fascinating (watery) evening!

mum of critters said...

gotta say, reading the poem i definitely could picture parts of the narrative but not all

then i thought of another elvis, one that died too soon and tragically, a life wasted, and i super imposed his life on the words and they were eerily accurate...

Alison Wiley said...

Sounds like a wonderful evening with Polly Clark . . . . wish I could have joined you!

Rachel Fox said...

I seem to remember her winning the Mslexia magazine poetry competition...at least twice!
x

david santos said...

Really beautiful!!! I love it! Congrats!!!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the excerpt Juliet - shall look at her web site.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thanks so much for the introduction. I shall enjoy reading more of her work, I'm sure!

Jacquie said...

I love the snowdrop image on your site! Enjoyed the taste of Polly Clark's poetry (I checked out the link too). I'll have to see if her books are available in Canada (or if her site mails orders overseas).

Mistlethrush said...

I've read some of Polly Clark's work in MsLexia - I was impressed. I bet this was a great evening.