Thursday 28 September 2017


Happy National Poetry Day! I recited two poems at the Addenbrooke's hospital chapel, which Mum recorded (albeit slightly shakily). It was fun to see the main entrance to the hospital festooned with lines of poetry, written in chalk on the cement and strung up into bunting flags. It was not much fun to witness the terror and repulsion of some people when they were offered poems. 'Would you like a free pome?' I asked nicely, naively. 'NO!' was the short sharp response. 'Yikes!' I may have said. 'Any reason?' 'I just hate it!' 'Er...right,' I stammered, 'since when?' 'Since they rammed it down my throat at school.' 'Fair enough,' I produced, cravenly, and skulked back to my friend Kaddy Benyon, who had warned me. She'd been at it for far longer than I. Never mind. The reading itself was lovely.

It's strange the way life circles. The first time I visited this chapel, I was in a wheelchair. That was eight years ago. And today, an extraordinary thing - after the reading was over, a woman in the audience said she recognised me from eight years ago, from my time being incarcerated on the Infectious Diseases ward for months. She said she was glad to see me walking.

Also, my surgeon came - which was very supportive of him - and immaculately timed to perfection, catching the poet before me, me, and the one after me, who happened to be the last poet of the day. Must be a surgeon's skill.


Sherry Blue Sky said...

You are so lovely. You glow. You read so beautifully, and your smile lights up your poems. (I still am super-serious and not-too-comfortable reading in public, though should be over myself by now, good grief.) I cant believe people reacted that way to being offered a poem. Here, in our small village, we are to have our first Poet Laureate in 2018, and the mayor invites us to read at most public events. I am glad some people at least stayed for the reading. AMAZING about the woman from eight years ago. Ah, a blue-eyed surgeon. Enough to make any beautiful young lady smile.

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