Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The dead man and me

I've already mentioned this on facebook but I know that not all the people who read this read that so here I go again...

Very exciting snail mail post arrived here yesterday... a magazine with a front cover that looks like this:



This is the Journal of the Philip Larkin Society (current issue – number 30 - free to members) and inside it are lots of articles (about Larkin – obviously) and a few poems by other people. Most excitingly (for me) two of the poems in this issue are written by one Rachel Fox of Montrose (hurray! And you will understand the cheering if you know anything about how bad my record is with those arsewipes the majority of paper poetry magazines!). The poems of mine included are “The way life should be” (a villanelle! Even more exciting if you remember this post) and “Significant other deceased” (blogged here ages ago... also a postcard). I was quite surprised by the poems they chose to use... but I'm not complaining (in fact I'm thrilled). The issue also contains poems by Alison Mace.

English poet Philip Larkin (1922-1985) is not to everyone's taste (his poetry, his life, all of him) but he is, as I've said here before, one of my very favourites. Here he is reading one of his quite well-known poems (and beware – this one has a 'fuck' in it):




He reads so well. And that 'long slide'... makes me wonder if it got into my head for a poem I posted back here. While we're at it the whole 'looking from age to age' makes me think about my last post's poem and some of the comments there too. He is SO my kind of guy.

You can join the Philip Larkin Society (here). You can read his poems all over the place – especially this year as it's the 25th anniversary of his death (whole website about that here). You can read about one of my favourite Larkin poems back here (if you missed it first time round). You can even get a bit of Larkin tonight on BBC4 ('Philip Larkin and the Third Woman'). So gorge yourselves! Fill up with Phil! Start the T.S. Eliot plan diet in the New Year or something...

x

28 comments:

Niamh B said...

Congrats on the success Rachel!!

Rachel Fox said...

I don't know if it's really success... but it feels nice to be included for a change! And my Dad would be proud I think - he was a huge fan of PL (and also of Frankie Howerd apparently).
x

Jim Murdoch said...

I saw an episode of Being Erica a few days ago where one of the characters quoted the line but changed it to, "They screw you up, your mum and dad." I could have screamed. Congrats about the poems. A pity they only publish poetry by subscribers.

Rachel Fox said...

That's not right, Jim. I'm not a subscriber... though I may well join the Society now I wasn't a member or subscriber when I got in touch. I can't remember how I ended up in touch with them (think I sent off my Larkin poem to see if they'd like it - it's here). They didn't want that but looked at my website and picked a couple of others.

x

Jim Murdoch said...

Well that's good to know. I have a couple they might like including a rewrite of 'Mr Bleaney'. Yes, you read that right - I can die in peace now.

Rachel Fox said...

I've sent poems off to all kinds of places. A lot of the time I'm sure people think I'm a pain/quite mad but I still do it.
x

Titus said...

Yah-blooming-hoo! Mega-congratulations, I'm going to have to get to it just to read your name and say 'I know her'. Doesn't it look pro, and such a great cover!
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Congratulations and well-deserved. I love his poetry and have often wondered whether to join the society.

Kim Ayres said...

Congrats!

And of course it's success - enjoy it :)

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks people - you're all so encouraging and lovely.
x

BarbaraS said...

Nice one, Rachel,big congrats to you!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Two great poems, you must be particularly pleased with the Villanelle, they're not easy to do at all , let alone do well. (and it was a poetry bus pome, Yippee!) It's a lovely looking journal, many congratulations, well done you!

hope said...

Is Scotland on the verge of taking over the rest of the universe?

I've visted Titus, Kim and now you...all my bloggy friends are famous. Add my standing ovation to your congrats.

I'm almost afraid to visit Shug's site next. ;)

Enchanted Oak said...

Oh, here's applause from California! I like the cover a lot, especially since I listened to half a dozen of his poems on your link, The Toad included. He's wonderful! I just went and checked my poetry shelves and I don't have a thing of his there.
Of course your pop would be proud! Good for you. I hate sending my poems off via snail mail. You inspired me tonight. Now I'm off to check your Larkin links.

Enchanted Oak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rachel Fox said...

TFE - the villanelle they used isn't the one from the other week - I just linked to that post because of my villanelle defence rant! It is on my website though (under poems, under distress and recovery).

EO - glad to introduce you to Larkin. He was and is a popular poet (as poets go) and for me he could do it all (light/dark, quick/slow, funny/deadly serious, dead arty/barely art at all).

x

Rachel Fenton said...

Pip's a fave of mine, too. Read far too much about him but still think his poetry's the bees bumble.

Off to scour yer website now missus - congratulations!

Rachel Fox said...

I watched the programme about his 'third woman' last night. I can't say I'm very interested in when he was shagging who and all that but I did like the chance to see some lovely colour photos of him - usually we see him looking so gloomy and black and white. I didn't know he had a taste for pink jumpers and yellow socks and all that but somehow it makes more sense.
x

swiss said...

excellent news! nice one!

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, nice not to be out in the cold for a change!
x

swiss said...

i'm assuming you've listened to this
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00w6q44
if not, you should. even the andrew motion content isn't detrimental!

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, I listened at the weekend and much enjoyed it. I read someone online calling it 'middlebrow'... like that's a crime!
x

Peter Goulding said...

Oh well done you! To have one poem published is a success, for them to accept two is a triumph. Brilliant

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Peter. Best of all I think was the lovely email I got saying nice things about lots of the poems on my website. It's so often I get quite the opposite from editors (who often seem to think I'm just some kind of moron!). It was nice to get some encouragement and understanding for a change.
x

Marion McCready said...

That's fantastic!! Congratulations and what a wonderful front cover!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Marion.
x

the watercats said...

congrats on the Larkin publication! saw the documentary the other night. He was one of the last proper poets, possibly. Poets should never live an ordinary life in my opinion! well done again!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Cats. I was reading the mag last night and there's some great stuff in it - especially an article about Larkin's humour (in letters and so on). I may have to have a post of quotes soon!
x