I was in London at the weekend, and among other things went along to the Southbank Centre to record a reading of one of my poems, Treaty House, that appeared in Brittle Star No19. As well as the texts of magazines appearing at the Poetry Library’s Poetry Magazines site, some are to feature sound files too.
Elsewhere I bought a few books, including John Preston’s The Dig, having just popped into the British Museum and been reminded of it by the Sutton Hoo collection and the Franks Casket. It’s a novel about the excavation of Sutton Hoo, in 1939 – I’m looking forward to it.
In the little branch of Foyles nearby, I was browsing in the poetry section and couldn’t help but overhear a young woman explaining to her partner exactly who Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were. She reached the tragic end of the story, saying “and she killed herself by putting her head in the oven”.
There was a long pause, and then the young man asked, in perfect seriousness: “Was it a gas oven?” Every head within earshot turned their way, with faces wearing expressions that were a mixture of horror and disbelief.