Event for this week was an open lecture at the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies on form and language in contemporary Scottish poetry.  Apparently the Scottish poets are borrowing from the idea pioneered by W. B. Yeats that the poet must be rooted in community.  Place and location are necessary to any poet; and form and pattern give force to a poem.  It made sense when it produces accessible poetry.  The lecture finished with a consideration of numerology in the poetry of Paul Muldoon.  I concluded that I didn’t understand what they are talking about.  The guy must be a poet’s poet which is a bit beyond my ken.  Numerology in poetry is another idea that goes back to Yeats, so I blame him.

Today’s treat was watching the Berlin Philharmonic at the Waldbuhne.  That was wonderful.  They began with some short pieces: Shostakovitch’s Jazz Piece, which isn’t real jazz, I didn’t detect any improvisation or feeling in it.  As the sun set in the natural amphitheatre then they moved onto more toothier pieces: Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and the Pines of Rome.  They caught close-ups of people in the audience and there was one woman with a child in her lap and a tear running down her cheek as they played Pines near a catacomb.

Then they brought the percussion out and finished with Berliner Luft.  I hadn’t heard it before.  It proved to be one of those special pieces, like being at a Last Nigh of the Proms.  I didn’t know Germans had that in them as they joined in the popular tune with clapping and whistles.  What a special treat, especially for the audience.

Lunch time reading this week has been from Perdido Street Station by China Miéville.

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