A forgotten gem from my show about Mirrors & Reflections: Scottish poet, Doctor and performer Gael Turnbull. Born in Edinburgh in 1928, he grew up in the North of England and in Canada. He founded the Migrant Press in 1957 which featured many transatlantic poets. His books include: A Gathering Of Poems and Rattle Of Scree and his collected poems There Are Words was published by Shearsman Books in 2006. He was a prolific writer and was read by a wide circle of Admirers. He died in Herefordshire in 2004. This is:
By Gael Turnbull
It was as if she couldn’t know herself. Only other persons could
Do that. When she searched for her image, there was always the
Reminder: one green eye, one brown. Her mother had tried to
Reassure that it made her attractive, interesting, that it was an asset,
Not a defect
Which wasn’t what troubled, or even the lack of symmetry, but that
when she looked in the mirror, she was always reversed, with her
Green eye on the left, her brown on the right. Only others saw her
As she was. Only others might make the affirmation, ‘You are’. For
Her, it was always the reflection, ‘Am I?’
Interesting article by Sarah Bannan in the Irish Times yesterday about the writing ritual. From Gavin Corbett’s 18 cups of tea (the bladder control!) to Christine Dwyer Hickey’s bribery plates; writers of every genre have adopted all manner of clever tricks and stratagems to prepare for the writing day or night or museful couple of hours.
My time used to be a bit like Sarah’s: 4/5am. There’s something both magical and uncanny about the hours before dawn; the house is so quiet and the secrets in the shadows are too useful to miss. I’ve been sleeping-in a lot lately so, no, will-power completely out the window! So what’s your ritual? A meditation, an old pen, comfy seat cushion, bowlful of Brazil nuts and an over-ripe banana? You can read Sarah Bannan’s article here and also check out Timothy Pike’s blog for more writing wisdom.
From Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda
(trans. by Stephen Tapscott)
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Relationship between literature and film features e e cummings, W H Auden and Jane Kenyon along with music from Diana Krall, Michael Nyman and Stina Nordenstam.
Love Of A Princess from Braveheart – James Horner
Somewhere I Have Never Travelled by e e cummings; I Remember You – Diana Krall
Silence by Thomas Hood; Piano Lesson from The Piano – Michael Nyman
Spontaneous Me by Walt Whitman; Opus One from The Notebook – Sy Oliver
Funeral Blues by W H Auden; Little Star from Romeo & Juliet – Stina Nordenstam
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimmage by Lord Byron; Love Theme from Bridges Of Madison County – Lennie Niehaus & Clint Eastwood
Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon; Back To The World from Life Of Pi – Mychael Danna
Many Of Horror from Transformers – Biffy Clyro