Monday, March 15, 2010
I don't feel so jealous about those of you who are heading up to St. Andrews for StAnza 2010 now that I can snuggle up with my lovely signed copy of Robin Robertson's latest collection, The Wrecking Light.
I went to the Don Paterson / Robin Robertson reading on Saturday and it was great. I have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to Paterson's work, it just doesn't really do it for me. Which is odd because he's one of the foremost influential and accoladed poets of our times, and he's Scottish! So I feel I'm really missing out on something.
Robertson, on the other hand, with his dark, surreal but exact, open-ended poems laden with myths, symbols and landscapes, I find inspiring.
I did enjoy Paterson's reading and he came across as a really nice person. But the poem I enjoyed of his the most he attributed Robertson as a major influence in the writing of it!
The reading was in the beautiful Mitchell Library, the same room where, on Thursday night, I read two of my poems as part of the open mic event. I wasn't nervous about reading but I did forget to breathe properly so that by the middle of the first poem I was running out of breath! During the second poem I had to deliberately concentrate on breathing and the reading of it was much easier. I think it takes the first couple of poems to get into the flow of reading your work, I noticed that Robertson didn't look at the audience once while reading his first poem but after that he seemed to relax into a rhythm of reading.
At the book signing when I asked Robertson who his influences are, he mentioned Geoffrey Hill whom I've come across here and there but never really read properly. Now I'm curious to read more to see what way he has influenced Robertson.