Morecambe Bay Poet

 

I started this blog because my work was published this year.

The content of my site is related to two impending public events; the Arthur Ransome fiftieth anniversary in April 2017 and a new film about Oscar Wilde called The Happy Prince written by and starring Rupert Everett also scheduled for release next year.

Both these classic authors influenced my work.

As America is big news at present, now seems the best time to introduce a site with a feel of Winter’s Bone about it and a poem with a flavour of rural America to give you a taste of my work.  Milestones, the opening poem of my book is read in full.  Just click the link.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_f1L95c5JbiODFpV0pheVFNeWs/view?usp=sharing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arthur Ransome Exhibition at Coniston

Hello again!  Welcome back to the site.  Regular posts will now resume!

Saturday, 3rd June 2017 was the fiftieth anniversary of Arthur Ransome’s death in 1967.   On that day I made a trip to the superb Arthur Ransome exhibition at Coniston museum in Cumbria which commemorates and celebrates his superb legacy in this significant year.

Setting off at 8 am from Morecambe, the journey was long and charming, involving a trip in the car across a stretch of water by ferry!

Once there I met other members of The Arthur Ransome Society (TARS) who had specially arranged this trip which offered an opportunity for everyone from the north west branch to meet each other there on that day.  My Dad, a dedicated history enthusiast also joined us and was not disappointed.

Mr Geraint Lewis, the Literary Executor kindly allowed me to take a photo of him along with other members (below)  and a long shot of the room housing the exhibition.

In addition to expected items relating to his famous books, there were also some superb photos of Russian citizens  and bearded soldiers  whom Ransome befriended in his capacity as a newspaper correspondent.  The photos of people in threadbare clothes on rackety looking trains or on horseback gave an indication of why there was a revolution!

I particularly liked the displayed hard-backed book of Arthur Ransome’s translation of popular Russian fairy stories titled  Old Peter’s Russian Tales.  It had the most exquisite illustrations in.

There were also books of photographs detailing the various stages of Ransome’s life and highlighting the brilliant work done by members of the Society who do so much to keep his memory alive.

It was a joy to see his fishing tackle and the shoes he wore when he went fishing.

Also interesting was the antiquated printing equipment the author used.

This exhibition is recommended.

Members say also recommended is the Brantwood cafe at the nearby John Ruskin museum for after the museum visit.

It was a lovely day with lively and intelligent conversation.

 

The French Connection

Frenchflag
Now we have a brave new voice in the world with the new French President,  it is time to add a new post.

Did you know that both Oscar Wilde and Arthur Ransome had connections with France?

Wilde had sympathies with the Revolutionaries who had a vision of a better, more egalitarian society and he expressed Republican sympathies in his poetry.

Fluent in French, having spent a long time in France as a youth, he was widely read in French literature.

When Arthur Ransome undertook his commission to write Oscar Wilde: A Critical Study he travelled to France to meet the French poet Paul Fort, an important voice in the Symboliste movement, among others.

Ransome supported the Russian Revolutionaries and like Wilde, had sympathy with their aims of a better, fairer society.   Wilde’s poetry must surely have struck a chord with him along with the much-envied French society of the early nineteenth century.

Let us hope M. Macron succeeds to uphold the principles of the Revolution in this increasingly divisive and divided world.

Vive la France!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theatre: Tea with Oscar Wilde

With a form for comments.

PoetSpeak

Venue: The Heron Theatre, Beetham, Cumbria

Date: Friday, 7th April

Wilde would have made a great chat show host and materialises as this in the production I attended by the Birmingham based production company Don’t Go Into the Cellar.

Written by actor-playwright Jonathan Goodwin who plays Wilde, the show uses the same format in the first and second half which includes audience interaction.

Mr Goodwin, sweeping onto the stage  in a green velvet jacket and flowing cloak was every inch the gypsy academic of Arthur Ransome’s description in his bestselling book  Oscar Wilde, a Critical Study.

Sali Graham as music hall legend Marie Lloyd was the perfect guest for Wilde, displaying an earthy warmth in an energetic performance bubbling with humour laced with innuendo.

Her cockney sparrow chatter interspersed wth old music hall favourite songs which she  invited the audience to join in added an…

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Theatre: Tea with Oscar Wilde

Venue: The Heron Theatre, Beetham, Cumbria

Date: Friday, 7th April

Wilde would have made a great chat show host and materialises as this in the production I attended by the Birmingham based production company Don’t Go Into the Cellar.

Written by actor-playwright Jonathan Goodwin who plays Wilde, the show uses the same format in the first and second half which includes audience interaction.

Mr Goodwin, sweeping onto the stage  in a green velvet jacket and flowing cloak was every inch the gypsy academic of Arthur Ransome’s description in his bestselling book  Oscar Wilde, a Critical Study.

Sali Graham as music hall legend Marie Lloyd was the perfect guest for Wilde, displaying an earthy warmth in an energetic performance bubbling with humour laced with innuendo.

Her cockney sparrow chatter interspersed wth old music hall favourite songs which she  invited the audience to join in added an air of insouciance to the evening appropriate to the spirit of the stage host.

It was  unfortunate the songs are so old that the audience  were unable to rouse the atmosphere a notch as they did not know the words.

Nevertheless it all contributed to a sense of relaxation  appropriate to the chat-show setting and engagingly tiny theatre.

In the second half I found myself invited onto the stage to perform simple actions with “Miss Lloyd” which gave a delightful flavour of old music hall fare.

The bite which the company promises was in the adapted stories of Wilde read by Mr Goodwin.  At the end of The Happy Prince I was wiping away tears. The second story he performed was The Nightingale and the Rose.

Wilde’s masterpieces brought home the inequity, vacuous social matching and heartless materialism at the centre of Victorian England and Wilde’s recognition of the need for social change.

It was a charming evening whcih cut through to a darker world beyond the sparkle.

The ending is not to be missed.


 

 

 

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The Kingdom of Women

Jonathan Fryer

The Kingdom of WomenFor most of history and in most of the world, men have ruled the roost. All sorts of explanations have been put forward for that, ranging from men’s physical strength to women’s traditional obligations to bear and raise children. In the post-modern age, with its emphasis on gender equality, such “justifications” for patriarchal systems have been fundamentally challenged. But there have always been a few societies that rejected the norm and developed matriarchal structures and/or matrilineal patterns of inheritance One such ethnicity is the Mosuo people of Yunnan province in south-west China, where a woman is head of the household and decides which male partner (single or plural) she will relate to, on a short- or long-term basis. In the matriarch’s house, ideally, each girl will have a room of her own (so important for independent action and thought, as Virginia Woolf understood!). Not surprisingly Mosuo women have a marked…

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