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Sunday, 16 March 2008

Gordon Brown's Natty Line in Lineation

In case you might have missed it, I thought the following worth passing on:-

A Turkish Kurd, Nehmet Basci, has spent the last five years teasing out of our world leaders (or those close to them) the titles of their favourite poems. Somewhere along the way he unearthed the the intriguing fact that Gordon Brown's favourite piece is by an American, James Stockinger. Gordon is said to be so taken with this particular poem that he is given to quoting it in his speeches. A few lines should give the flavour...

The hands of other people lift us from the womb,
The hands of other people grow the food we eat,
weave the clothes we wear and
build the shelters we inhabit.

Stockinger is reported to have been very flattered by the P.M's. opinion of his poem, even though, as he himself was honest enough to point out, it... er... wasn't actually a poem... not as such. What it actually was... well, actually, it was a misquotation from his doctoral thesis. Not the end of the world, though... a few unplanned line breaks and in no time at all it was the poem that the P.M. had always thought it was, as proof of which his publishers have included it in their latest anthology. Hands up, all those who have ever thought that perhaps too much contemporary poetry was just chopped-up prose!


Lucy said...

How funny! I wonder how he got the idea it was a poem? Perhaps it was e-mailed to him and got broken up by the copy-and-paste function or something...

Thanks for visit to mine, I'll come back to this excellent and thoughtful place.

Dave King said...

Hi Lucy,
Good to have your visit. Thanks for the feedback.

Rob Windstrel Watson said...

I've been reading a book by a lecturer at Warwick Uni. about creative writing. His biggest interest seems to be poetry.

He says about writing creative non-fiction:

'Poets use their perceptual and linguistic precision to create exact and resonant pictures of reality.'

So, reversing that, non-fiction can be poetic if it creates exact and resonant pictures of reality.

Great blog :-)

Dave King said...

Good to hear from you rob. Something to think about there. My immediate reaction is to think that it should be "pictures from reality, but maybe I haven't quite got what he (and you) are saying...
Thanks for the feedback.