Thursday 18 March 2010

The Wrecking Light - The Magic of Robin Robinson

I have to confess that after last night's reading at the UEA Literature Festival and the preceding post grad. student question and answer session, I have more than a little poetry crush on Robin Robertson. I had recently read two of Robinson's books - A Painted Field and his new book The Wrecking Light and I enjoyed both of them. but sometimes hearing a poet read their work is like having the light suddenly switched on when you have been sitting in a room as darkness falls - you suddenly see things with more clarity and appreciation.

Robertson said some really interesting things about the writing process in the question and answer session, too many to mention here but one particular pearl of wisdom that struck a chord with me was that "a poem will tend to some of the anxieties of the subconscious."

But for me it was his poetry reading that really wove the night's magic. His reading was spellbinding - possibly one of the best I have seen - he has a great reading voice and sense of timing and that coupled with the mythical and mystical subject matter of some of the poems hit just the right pitch. He also ended on a really powerful poem called "At Roane Head" which is a dark and mysterious piece and was just the right choice to leave the audience wanting more. You can listen to Robin reading some of his older poems here or read the poem At Roane Head here.