Today I returned to my home town of Eastleigh which also stars in my blog “the Importance of being Ernie”. In my guise as wandering artist/poet I was passing through a housing estate when, of a sudden I saw something that made my senses reel and gave me sensations that I had never known before. ( Can you tell I’ve been reading a romance?) Oh all right – I’m doing a review of one. As a committed intellectual and seriously serious person I would never read such a thing for any other reason.
At first I could not believe it. Surely the Authorities had not heard that I was a famous poet by virtue of having sold a book of poetry on Amazon UK. YES – a whole book for money. The good thing about being from Eastleigh is that there are relatively few fame names to compete with. Obviously, the sale of a book of poetry triggered some kind of software tsunami that had councillors scrambling from their beds to name a road after me! Oh such joy. Soon the phone will be ringing with Radio Foreplay producers craving an interview. Who would have imagined that my life would come to this? Who would have imagined the skill of the town planning department to blend my name into other roads named Nightingale, Starling, Robin and Kestrel? Do you think I should complain about the dog poo bin or just keep quiet and be grateful.
Real poetry lovers will recognise the above nonsense as a a clumsy link to a poem by Henry Reed, “Naming Of Parts”. This work has had its critics and its parodies. It is a beautiful anti-war piece that seems to me to contrast the hard steel and certainty of the gun against the fragile mortal values of Nature. Other readers see it differently……I’m sure that my American readers will enjoy the accents – one working class London and the other refined middle class of about 50 years ago. Tony Blair is modern middle class.
What a truly wonderful world we live in where folk lavish their time unselfishly to put this kind of material on You Tube etc. It makes me happy and optimistic that this happens. Mortality is strangely redefined by media do you think? I listen to Piaf you know – and she lives. Beethoven may have heard his symphonies just a few times and yet for me he can live in my head over and over at the flick of a switch. Oh dear – I’m rambling again….
Given the talent of Reed I feel that fashion and critics have rather overlooked him. Maybe he has a road in his name?