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Butterflies & Blackjacks launch- what you missed.

October 5, 2010

I had the honour of opening the launch of Clive Lawrance’s latest poetry book, Butterflies & Blackjacks. This is what I said:

“I only read 3 poets. And I am related by marriage to two of them. Does that disqualify me from opening a Poetry Book Launch? Not according to the third poet I read. Ted Kooser, who was the 13th Poet Laureate for the United States said that poetry used to be for the common man to enjoy, but now increasingly it’s just for other poets: “Poets have decided to write for each other. And because poets are sophisticated readers you can get by with more if you are writing for them than if you are writing for a guy at the gas station on the corner.” But Kooser believes that poetry can really do things for all people, really enhance their lives; that poetry can make our ordinary world look more interesting to everyone. And so to make sure that his poetry remained accessible Kooser would give the first draft of his poem to his secretary to read and whatever she couldn’t understand he would go back and make clearer.

Now it’s this exact quality that I admire in Clive’s poetry: it’s simple, it’s accessible and it makes you say: “Aha, that is just what life is like! That is just what our ordinary world is like – I couldn’t have said it better. That is how a bird looks at me! That is what a spider’s walk reminds me of! And that is the typical attitude of locusts these days!

Clive’s book is published by Abound, which is an NPO started by Church on the Ridge. Abound’s aim is to bring beauty to the city of PMB through the medium of the arts. And so it’s our hope that Clive’s poetry, accompanied by Stidy’s drawing will bring you much simple pleasure so that you can also say: Aha that is just what life is like! That is just what is so good about our ordinary world.”

Clive Lawrance (author) thanked all those involved in the project and read a few of his poems. John Roff  and Jeremiah Von Kuhn made some fine music. And then we all enjoyed some good food and wine in Clive’s quirky garden.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeff permalink
    October 6, 2010 6:35 am

    The food looks good.

  2. Glenn permalink
    October 16, 2010 6:42 am

    A great time was had by all, and if you are like me and battle to understand poetry, then I suggest you get hold of this book. It will give you a whole new outlook on poetry. Already it has become one of my fav books to read in bed. Brilliant!!!

  3. samuelgroves permalink*
    October 28, 2010 6:55 am

    Janet Van Eeden has posted an interesting interview with Clive Lawrance on Litnet. You can read it here: http://www.litnet.co.za/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_news_item&cause_id=1270&news_id=94425&cat_id=178

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