Other bits of Laureating news are mostly research bits towards commissions that are starting to move along. I spent a lovely afternoon and evening with Roger Wood, historian at West Hallam, (thanks Roger, and thanks Ann and Tim, for lovely pub tea too), learning lots about John Scargill, the benefactor of 4 local schools , and a 17th century educational reformer well ahead of his time. There will be events celebrating his 350th anniversary all next year so if you are interested in knowing any more just contact me and I can forward details.
Also this week I came across the wonderfulness of Yain Tain Eddero, very old counting in the Derbyshire dialect, of which the Yorkshire variation has been made into a folk song by Jake Thackeray - Yam Tam Tether. But the Ancient Celtic dialect from Derbyshire, from the Brythunic Celtic languages, is equally a found poem - here's the counting up to 20 -
yain tain eddero
peddero pitts tater
later overoo coveroo
Isn't that wonderful? And of course playing with those rhythms and how it could be set out is a next stage, and a fun morning talking out loud in ancient Celtic.
What else? For anyone that missed it, the radio documentary about Ted Hughes, commemorating his work and his stone in Westminster Abbey, is still on iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0183glm/Archive_on_4_Ted_Hughes_Memorial_Tones/. And as if to counterbalance this in tone, you could then go to a fabulous poem on Youtube called "Crazy Santas Occupy The World", by the American poet David Lee Morgan, set to music by the wonderful Michael Harding, a musician and laptop DJ based in Sheffield who does lots of work creating soundscapes and music to go with poems - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzGUoEnre8U.
Finally, staying with the musical theme, I think I'll put up the draft version of a recent poem from the Assembly Rooms in Derbyshire - this hasn't yet been to the workshop I go to, so if anyone has any comments they would be most welcome, and I would feed these in to the next stage of redrafting. Here it is, and have a great Xmas - all best, Matt
Plastic lagers and packed,
black curtains, dry ice, Derby folk night,
gig frocks and ponytails. Ade Edmondson,
loud one from the Young Ones,
is playing folk versions of punk anthems,
God Save the Queen, a fascist regime,
post Arab Spring, Occupy everything.
The fiddler rocks out reels,
I can smell Silk Cut King Size, and grass,
Sex Pistols at Cleopatra’s, 1976,
and the uilleann pipes grieve and weave
dark watery wailings, out through walls
to Derbyshire fields, and mills, and chimneys,
where the first factory rises, your future dream
is a shopping scheme, I am an anarchist.
This is Bad Sheperds stirring their flocks
as markets (Buxton, Ashbourne, Wall Street) tumble
‘cross Peaks and Dales, take me to the river,
folk-punk, England’s old dissenters,
soft-angry angels fly again the hills.
That young guy I told about this gig
just laughed at me wanting to go – why?
This is middle-aged shout-out,
White Riot – I wanna riot of my own,
London calling to the faraway towns,
Clash, King’s Hall, because who is talking
about Derby in the 1970s?
Where fists once punched the air
mobile phones glimmer.
Ade has a bad toe, is wearing slippers,
yet they’re still rocking it, Anger Is An Energy,
but almost noone’s moving -
except us, a few at-the-back, die-hard,
joy-monster how-can-you-resist Anarchists,
shouting loud and jumping to combine
Irish jig and pogo.
And you may ask yourself
how did I get here?
listening to thrash mandolin
near the home of the Pentrich Rebellion,
200 years ago, wanting to wipe the National Debt,
needing to protest, not knowing what,
same as it ever was,
same as it ever was;
and tomorrow, we’ll take the old road
from the Red Lion, walk past the church,
head from Litton up the gentle slope
towards a future, ten minutes later,
in Tideswell, where we’ll buy the paper.
We’ll look to that brow of hill,
and beyond, Derbyshire, the sky,
the whole wide world.
May the road rise with you.