As ever, I am a whole week behind: the kids have been off this week on mid-term breaks and the whole household has descended into the sort of chaos that only mothers know: washing to beat the band etc; constantly running out of food and trying to think of 'free' activities that involve exercise of some form. And then the dishwasher which was already getting very weepy, tired and emotional decided that since I'd got a few euros to spare it was time to sputter and blink it's death.
Cue a few interesting days of manual dish washing, in which the kids learned very quickly that 'hands that do dishes' should be anyone's but their own. The new DW was installed yesterday with the usual three hour saga, involving sawing, hacking and much swearing that accompanies any seemingly plain and simple job in our house...
In the midst of all this a friend sent me a link for Nick Laird's article in last week's Guardian.
Laird discusses the political poem, coming from the stance of hearing Elizabeth Alexander's inauguration poem and mentioning Robert Frost's inaugural poem back in 1961 (for JFK). There is a tightrope that has to be walked when you decide to write poetry about politics: "To watch words carefully is a small political act, a safeguard against doublespeak. In daily discourse it leads to questions about truth and power." Laird suggests that 'poetry and politics' is interchangeable with that other unhappy pairing of words, 'imagination and reality.' From reading Wallace Steven's lecture 'The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words,' he argues that Stevens thought that perhaps a 'coalition' between the two worlds was/is possible.
Now, I bet you never thought you'd see Nick Laird, poetry and politics and a dishwasher all in the same post. No, neither did I.