Looking Glass Language

a word bird reflects on life & language

Archive for the tag “poetry”

out of the mouths of bébés…

anouka cat

“Je vais faire de bruite très calme, car j’aime le bruit très calme1.”  The musings of a French romantic poet? Victor Hugo, Théophile Gautier or Alfred de Musset, perhaps? No. The musings of a three-year old.

With her French artist / yoga teacher mother and English sax player father, the odds were high that Noukie (now nine) would be quirky and artistic. But her idiosyncratic, artistic, and at times esoteric take on the world seems more profound than that.

Seeing the dusty body of a pigeon lying in the gutter, its blue-grey feathers ruffling in the wind, she said “il est cassé, le pigeon” (it is broken, the pigeon): as though it were a broken toy she could no longer play with. Then, taking Pascale’s hand, she asked calmly, “Parle me encore de la mort” (speak to me more about death). Read more…

26AC: the exhibition

the secret archaeologist

Last Friday saw the launch party for the exhibition 26 Atlantic Crossings, the latest collaborative project from writers’ group 26. The three-day exhibition was in Prince Edward County, Canada, and the only one of the 26 UK-based writers involved able to attend was Faye Sharpe, who – with her artist sister – came up with the original idea and drove the project. Fortunately, Faye has penned a blog piece that lets us enjoy the ‘happening’ vicariously.

I’m now anxiously awaiting my copies of the printed book. There are no more copies left, so if you didn’t manage to buy one for yourself and you’d like to explore the art and poetry of 26 Atlantic Crossings, why not download a free e-copy of it here?

Enjoy!

Design Week | We Like | 26 Characters

Design WeekSo great to see that a project I’m involved in, 26 Characters, is this morning’s Design Week We Like pick… Having received my copies in the post a couple of days ago, I’m not surprised – it’s a lovely thing, with beautiful illustrations.

 

B is for Borrowers.

The book sees 26 children’s literary characters – from Mary Poppins to Merlin – reimagined by 26 writers (of whom I am one – see A Father’s Duty) and 26 leading illustrators. 

This book came about thanks to The Story Museum’s 26 Characters exhibition in Oxford. We writers were asked to respond to portraits of leading authors taken by celebrity photographer Cambridge Jones. The author subjects, including Malorie Blackman, Philip Pullman and Julia Donaldson, were dressed as their favourite childhood literary characters for the portraits, which featured in the museum’s inaugural exhibition.

Our written responses to the portraits had to be in the form of a sestude – a poem of 62 words exactly (26 in reflection – 26|62 – a form of verse invented by writers’ collective 26 to reflect our name, itself inspired by the number of letters of the alphabet). Each of us was given a letter of the alphabet as our starting point, and the completed sestudes were then passed to the illustrators.

My letter was B, and Paul Pateman, aka Pâté, did a fabulous job illustrating my sestude about Pod & Arrietty from The Borrowers – illustrating the B with a giant pencil clasped in a Borrower’s hands. ‘B’ is for beautifully done, Paul…

 

Pic by Cambridge Jones

Pic by Cambridge Jones

Here’s the portrait which inspired my little poem: Ted Dewan and his daughter Pandora dressed up as Pod and Arrietty. I’m looking forward to visiting the exhibition proper in a couple of weeks’ time but I’ve already relished seeing authors throw off their inhibitions to personify a favourite character from a childhood book – just look at how gleefully Malorie Blackman embodies The Wicked Witch of the West!

 

Malorie Blackman as The Wicked Witch of the West

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 26 Characters booklet is available here, priced at £5.

Related articles / sites:

http://www.designweek.co.uk/we-like/26-characters/3038329.article

http://www.26.org.uk/index.php/2014/04/26-characters-at-the-story-museum/

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sara-sheridan/childrens-books_b_5153274.html

https://www.facebook.com/events/599353783488397/

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My favourite jumper

I just wanted to re-post this lovely drawing, and Faye Sharpe’s brilliant, heartwarming poetic response to it. You can find these on 26 Stories of Xmas, where they’re helping raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust and Scottish cancer charity, itsgood2give. (Read more about all this on yesterday’s post, Wordy Wednesday: sestude.)My favourite jumper

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My Favourite Christmas Jumper

by Faye Sharpe

 

*

September

Comes. Granny

Picks a pattern. October

Comes. Granny decides the yarn.

November comes. Granny’s nerves crackle. By

Christmas Eve she’s in a panic. But on Christmas Day

She beams. I tear open her present. All reds, blues, greens.

And I wear my favourite Christmas jumper, though its sleeves reach

my knees,

Because

I love my Granny.

xx

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