How and when do you mark the passing of a pandemic which is not yet done? Politicians stumble, their messages swaying between promises of better days ahead and threats of worse to come. Can poets help us?
“If it is our mission…to alleviate suffering as well as to preserve life …”
The crystal-clear words of doctor-poet Gael Turnbull feel like a timely gift in our time of need.
Covid has closed the doors at least for now. But, there’s death-defying joy in Michael Marra’s song, a lockdown escape to be played loud and long. Here’s Frida Kahlo cutting an intoxicatingly exotic dash dancing to Perdido among the locals in the singer’s favourite bar.
It’s abut humanity. Vision is the theme of #NationalPoetryDay 20-20 and our co-editor Fay finds solace and joy and sadness in poetry and prose written in the time of coronavirus
‘He suffered from depression, remarking once that ‘I’ve written books and poems to self-medicate my depression’. Poetry as medicine for dementia and depression is why the passing of Willie Hunter footballer, poet and ambassador is a loss to poetry as well as those that knew him.’
“I wanted to upset everybody, including myself. Half the problem with the world is that half the people take themselves too seriously. The other half don’t take themselves seriously enough.”
Reading poetry in the pandemic is waxing, as people turn to verse for solace amidst their grief or for expressions of their own anger at needless suffering and death. We are not supposed to call the struggle to contain, suppress and/or beat the coronavirus a war yet it is to war poets people often reach […]
Coronavirus brings powerful new poignancy to a remarkable poetry collection gathered by Edinburgh’s former Makar, Christine De Luca to celebrate “those who daily undertake some of the lesser-seen jobs in our city…night bus drivers, lollipop ladies, binmen…now on the ‘frontline’
‘Perversely, in the wars evoked by politicians it was the flaming of youth untimely snuffed out. Such thoughts emerge from a new poem, written before the pandemic, the reflections of a man in his tenth decade, walking by the river near his home. And wondering…’
“…the hale podium of panjandrums/ wha think they ken hoo tae run things…” including from their beds of isolation…with nods to Burns and the English Bard