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Review of Poetry & Pints Event

November 9, 2013

Front view of Richmond Georgian Theatre Royal
One reader has asked me to feed back on Monday evening’s Poetry & Pints event at Richmond Georgian Theatre Royal.
I am glad to say that the evening went well. The audience were most appreciative of my work and brought examples of their own poetry to contribute to a lively open mic session in the theatre bar.
As ever, I am in awe of those who decide on the spur of the moment to recite a poem from memory. Although I have done this in the past, I prefer to have a script to hand as I once forgot my lines and momentarily experienced stage fright. This knocked my confidence for a while and is not an experience that I would wish to repeat. Being able to glance down at the page and pick up the thread enables me to keep the nerves in check.
I was a little more nervous than usual on this occasion as I found out at last minute that I would be reading on my own and quickly sorted an extra half hour’s worth of material. On the plus side this meant that I was able to give some of the poems from Twisting in the Land of Light and Masquerade their first airing.
The mythological and intertextual references within them were well received and led to some discussion after the event, but the poem which continues to be an audience favourite is ‘No going Back’ from Land of my Ancestors:
The Great Hall of the Winds
hides in the hills
where ravens go to roost.

You showed me the path
through the veil of spume
from the waterfall.

I followed into the cave
to see the bone chamber
where lions once lived.

You helped me down the slope
of scree which skitter-scattered
to the cavern floor.

I stumbled over mud and rubble,
grazed my shin
on a stalagmite.

The Great Hall lit up
when you swept your torch
across the roof,

startling a thousand diamonds
like a glitter of fairy lights,
from their limestone bed.

I froze at the first echoes
of tapping sounds,
the dwarves looking for lead,

then ran like Aeolus himself,
did not look back
to see if you would follow.

You were a long time
coming up from underground,
your face a blank.

The waterfall hissed,
ravens took flight,
something shifted between us.

This poem draws on local legends, visits to caves in both England and Europe, and an account of the Great Hall of the Winds which can be found at a secret location in the dales. It is available in print in the Lifelines pamphlet published by Mudfog Press in September 2013 and can be purchased from the following retailers:
NeST gallery, 25 Newgate, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL12 8NG
The Green Frog, Lakeside Country Park, Ellerton, Scorton, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 6AP
The Showcase Gallery, 11 Finkle Street, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 4QA
E-books mentioned above can be downloaded from my author page at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JudithLesleyMarshall

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