Saturday, 9 February 2013

tony conran again

here's the rest of the Conran piece:

The key point is that, in emerging out of a specific community, and addressing itself to specific individuals, the poem transcends lyric and enters the ‘magnetic field’ of the dialogic. Tony wrote some personal poems, but there is remarkably little in his work, for example, about his cerebral palsy which, for many writers with such a major disability, would’ve been the starting-point and core of their work. Instead he invented an outward-looking poetic which was as generous as the stress on gifts implies. So ‘Upright Slate’ explores the way that objects acquire meaning in poems, and the way that poems become centred upon objects. However, it is not itself object-centred, but celebrates how the object had value imposed upon it by individuals, one who carved and abandoned it, and one who later found it and cherished it, and gave it to the poet:

On one side only the flesh of the slate
Has been split:
Was it once the bed of a stream, this featherlike pattern
Rippling through it?

I don’t even remember
Who gave it me –
Only that someone did.
Yet he or she

Liked me and it enough
To carry it home
With hands that its dead weight chilled
To the bone.