Procrastination Station #14

Checkkit, yo.

Who was nominated for the Bad Sex Award this year? And who won?
We the people get a say in who the new poet laureate is! And apparently we’re incapable of picking someone goodbut can anyone be as bad as Andrew Motion?!
Also from the Guardian Books Blog: The good side of bad books // Iain Rankin’s secret life // Poster poems: water // Quiz: how well do you know TS Eliot? (I got 11 out of 14!)

Great stuff from Daily Writing Tips this week: do you know the difference between ‘un-’ and ‘dis-’? What about words that use the three-letter ‘i’? And this article on split infinitives caused The Boy (a closet Trekkie) to get a bit defensive…

Check out this brilliant bookish art installation in North Beach, San Francisco (anyone live near there? Send me pictures!)

You’ve heard of “last words” - what about last photographs?

Dear Santa: spotty-lined trench coat! Andy Warhol colouring book! Tattoo paper dolls! How cool??

Or how about this? Emily Dickinson becomes a t-shirt pin-up girl!

Fascinating stuff: what people write on their money // Marilyn: before and after // aren’t death scenes in Disney movies kind of violent?! // how long could you survive without a job? // the next Dalai Lama could be a woman // can you spell “dictionary”? // and this is so going to be my dying wish, too!

Thanks: to Gala, for putting me in her Carousel… and to Annie for her mention of ONS, and Featured Poet of last week, Simon!

And speaking of Simoncheck out this video of him reading at Poetry Unplugged a couple of weeks ago. You can also read an in-depth interview with another former Featured Poet, William Soule, herewith some questions from me!

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving, for those of you who celebrate it! Now, tell me what you’ve loved this week!

(Photo by Of Tales and White Lies)

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12 Responses to “Procrastination Station #14”

  1. swiss Says:

    i think the boy is right. and the articel says as much. would they have gone bodly? certainly not! if it fits, leave it!

    which isn’t to say there aren’t linguistic things that annoy me. the floor for instance. to me, belongs in a house. then there is the ground, the earthn etc. except now everything is the floor. even in sport. there is no pitch, no canvas etc. just the floor. it’s language for tabloid readers. well, yes, i suppose it is.

    and falling pregnant. what the feck’s that all about. one becomes pregnant. one does not trip, fall over, get impregnated on the way down, find oneself on the fecking ‘floor’, suddenly fertilized. it’s as if women should be linguistically disenfranchised from even the act of getting pregnant. i hear it and it’s like nails being dragged down a blackboard. what about the children!!! lol

    and seeing as i’m on the subject (and i think you posted about it recently).
    latin. confused by latin phrases/classifications? either you can’t read in which case the dictionary is beyond you or yes, you are indeed thick. and the protests of the daily mail types for whom the protests of ‘it’s too difficult for immigrants’ is beyond irony. all the immigrants i know speak at the very least two languages!

    i love latin. reading classifications etc is like thumbing thru both a dictionary and a history book. all those ‘difficult’ names for the bits of the body (ffs!) is like a guide to post renaissance medicine. lovely. can;t manage that? in the words of mr t, i pity the fools

    and as it’s about procastination.. we stopped work the other week to have a look at some indian languages. i’m particularly taken with malayalam not just because it looks groovy but also because i think it’s the only language that’s also a palindrome (which of course comes from the greek, god help the latin haters!)

    as for andrew motion. i can take him or leave him but i can’t help feeling you’re a bit unfair. there are two, okay maybe three, things with the poet laureate job. firstly, it isn’t synonymous with what they do in america. maybe it should be but it isn’t. the problem. that’d be the royal family and the need for them as a topic. no poet with any self respect should take this job. ever. as andrew motion very well shows. yes, sure we’ve got the poetry archive but really….

    second, let the public vote? that’s a brilliant idea. but you’l be getting pam ayres. at best. tho more likely someone from boyzone. or kerry katona.

    thirdly. scotland already has a makar. wales don’t want one so a uk laureate seems a bit of an irrelevance esp, and i’d have to check to see if i’m wrong, but hasn’t the laureate always been english?

  2. swiss Says:

    gone bodly? nice!

    and just in case there’s any confusion, the ‘you’ is obviously a generalised you, not you in particular ; )

  3. Claire Says:

    Swiss - I agree with you on all this stuff! I’m a total grammar nazi but sometimes infinitives sound better split. It was the article that upset The Boy, not me! And the ‘fall pregnant’ expression is something I’ve always been puzzled about. I daresay it came about as a result of some weird old superstition or something - these things generally have a bizarre explanation. And the Latin thing - I was shocked to hear people campaigning that Latin should be taken out of our language because it’s “elitist”. Not knowing what “ad lib” or the like mean is about you being a simpleton, as you say… not about the eilitism of people who use the phrase!

    Re: Andrew Motion and the poet laureate position. I just don’t like AM. I think he’s a mediocre poet and all he’s done is whinge about the laureateship rather than trying to use it to do good. Yes, it’s limiting because of the connection with the Royals (bah!!), but I’m sure he could have done more than he did, and all his blather about how it was sooo hard and sooo limiting is just ungrateful and annoying. He’s in a position to influence things! Why didn’t he?! But yes - the laureateship should be MUCH more like it is in the USA… over there it’s much more hands-on, much more active. And I think a severing of ties to the Royals might remove the issue of Welsh/Scots/Northern Irish people feeling left out.

    I’m not sure about the public vote. I think there is a danger of a vote for Pam Ayres (ARGH!!!) but at the same time I think Nicholas Lezard is a bit rude about the general public - I’d like to think we have more sense than that. But sadly… it might turn into an X Factor popularity contest type thing. But I’ve seen the Poetry Soc’s “rules” about actually nominating poets… and I reckon there’s going to be some serious quality control going on. Basically, the public are going to have a say… they just might not listen to it!

  4. swiss Says:

    been thinking about this on the drive home tonight. i don’t think the scots/ welsh (don’t know about the ni people) feel left out as such - we’ve got our own traditions, esp the welsh. and while i agree on both counts re motion (although i’m equally unconvinced by edwin morgan as scots makar tho for different reasons) even if the royals were removed from the reasoning i still think it’d be better if it wasn’t a uk laureate but that the inglese should have one of their own. and as i’m in optimistic mood i can imagine all the makars/laureates/welsh people getting together for a big massive poetry celebration. i’d go to that!

  5. Claire Says:

    You’re right - and the English have their own traditions too. I like the idea of a huge coming-together of the various laureates too. Reckon we should pitch this to the Poetry Soc??

  6. swiss Says:

    i think it’s a winner. and once every couple of years we could get the makar, the eistedfodd person, the english laureate and someone from ni and have a zoolander style poet-off, which should also be mc’d by bowie.
    works in my book!

  7. Colleen Rose Says:

    I feel semi-guilty because I have been reading this blog for a while and I am completely in love with it. I actually live in Nor Cal and planning a weekend trip to the SF north beach exhibit and will send pictures once I go!

  8. GITS Says:

    haha Claire I beat your TS Eliot score. The genius that is me strikes again :P
    oh yeah!

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