The Poetry Kit
- Dave Morgan
- British poets visit French provincial city,
- The natives seem completely unconcerned,
- But tanned expats and sundry anglophiles
- Dig out the poetry they once learned,
- Through choice or force, at school or university.
- On Thursday night, the Cambridge Arms their first stop,
- Busy and uncomfortably short of seats,
- Eighteen poets crowd around three tables,
- Performing Alan Ginsberg rather than John Keats
- To generate a lovely noisy workshop.
- Paul their host and literary patron beams,
- And keeps their glasses topped with stout,
- As transatlantic accents rise and fall,
- More and more attenders out
- Themselves to realise their deep poetic dreams.
- For this success its Caroline they have to thank,
- A slender figure, elfin, wan and pale,
- Barmaid, scholar, poet and aristocrat,
- Though fragile looking she can take her ale
- With the hardest drinking poet manqué.
- And so on Saturday theyre at Malones,
- A greater challenge with ever more distraction,
- Guffawing locals primed to over-ride the readers,
- Supported by a TV commentary on rugby action,
- For which the alcohol and bonhomie hardly atones.
- Experience and perseverance oerwhelm the
- Three sessions each of nearly half an hour,
- And lovely French and Polish contributions,
- Encouraged by a core of twenty giving power,
- To the forty poetic elbows on the table.
- The night runs on until there is no crowd,
- Just people sitting round accompanied by pipes and drum,
- At four am the visiting poets sadly leave,
- Reflecting quietly on what theyd done
- And how theyd profited from Write out Loud.
- So fuggled memories were etched on pickled minds,
- They had no expectations only hope,
- They owed success to poetry lovers of
- Who through their willing efforts helped them cope,
- In this first poetic foray into foreign lands.