Polly

Writings and Witterings


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‘I am John Clare’ – A revealing and outstanding performance!

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe

In a collaborative event between Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe and Evesham Festival of Words, the peasant poet John Clare was revived for one night only in the Almonry Museum, Evesham, last Thursday.

Evesham Festival of Words Logo (1)

Written by Stephen Loveless and performed on the stage by Robin Hillman, the evening promised to be a feast of poetic brilliance and historical wonder.

Now Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe Committee Member, Daniel Burton, shares his thoughts with us on what was undoubtedly an informative and emotional evening.

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8th March 1860. John Clare, peasant poet and the son of a farm labourer, has been committed to the General Lunatic Asylum in Northampton after years of ‘poetic prosing’, confused and unsure about his identity.

3rd May 2018. Robin Hillman brings Clare back to life for a 21st century audience with a thought-provoking performance as the peasant poet himself. Evesham’s Almonry Museum provided the perfect stage to welcome Clare to…

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No Creosote

In the potting shed
the scent of ancient creosote
wafts in heavy summer heat.
Years of grandpa, pipe in mouth,
leaning against the wall
as grandma wielded the black
brush and yelled,

‘Get back you
kids,’ followed by her gap-tooth grin.

She lives in the still-
standing walls…
no creosote now.

Polly Stretton © 2018

First published on this blog in 2014, this is a revised version – last week’s heat put me in mind of it.

Potting shed


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Poetry Stew

A little bit of Ars Poetica 🙂 First published on this website in 2012, lightly edited today.

Walt Whitman's use of free verse became apprec...

Walt Whitman’s use of free verse became appreciated by composers seeking a more fluid approach to setting text. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Poetry Stew

A little bit of this
and a little bit of that,
all mixed together in a poetry hat,
pull out nubile wordles
bash them all around,
organise the way they look,
smell and sound.
Stir ‘em into shape,
shake ‘em through and through,
let them have their say,
they’ll tell you what to do.
When the stew is finished,
finalised and done
then make some bread to go with it,
knead it just for fun.
Bread has connotations, solid,
formed it rises,
if the yeast is left out
there are no surprises.
Method is important
from limerick to sonnet,
free verse gives to poetry
yeast
to place upon it.

Polly Stretton © 2018

Not so Idle Women

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Worcestershire Poet Laureate catches up with former Worcestershire Poet Laureate!

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On Saturday night I finally managed to catch the Idle Women Tour, this is a project Heather Wastie has worked on since 2016, I missed the 2017 performances and have been meaning to catch a show ever since!

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The show gained financial support from Arts Council England, which enabled the employment of a Tour Manager, Zoe Hunn and Director, Milla Jackson.

Last Autumn Idle Women featured on BBC Country File, which aired November 12th as part of Remembrance programming.

https://alarumtheatre.co.uk/broadcast/bbc-countryfile/

The Spring Tour started last week with a performance at The Chestnut Inn,  Worcester on Tuesday 3rd April.

idle women chestnut inn© 2018 – Alarum Theatre

I knew the basic content of the show and have been aware of Heather’s work and some of the poetry. I purposefully didn’t look into the Double Bill and had no idea what to expect from Kate Saffin (other than half the show).

Photographs taken in the first week of the…

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This gallery contains 8 photos


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Echoes

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With acknowledgement to Alan Nicholls

In the present, from the past,
a voice that echoes,
a saying that lasts,
even when the body has gone,
what was said will linger on.
‘My mum used to say…’
‘My grannie too…’
‘My dad would have something to say to you.’
In the present, from the past,
a voice that echoes,
echoes that last.

Polly Stretton © 2016


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New Release! THE BONE CURSE, A Genre-Bending, Supernatural Medical Thriller

My friend Carrie’s third novel—always a good read—available on Amazon.co.uk—mine’s coming soon! 🙂

Carrie Rubin

Do you believe in the paranormal?

I wish I did. Life would be more fun. But in reality, a ghost could hit me upside the head with a copy of War and Peace and I’d still find a way to explain it. Thanks to my left-brain skepticism and years of science education, a believer in the unseen I am not.

BUT…

That doesn’t mean I don’t find it fascinating, and it doesn’t mean I don’t want to write about it.

The Bone Curse, available today, takes a rational-minded man of science and tosses him into an otherworldly situation, one with curses, dark priests, and Haitian Vodou.

The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin After getting cut by an old bone in the Paris catacombs, a skeptical med student must use the occult to stop a deadly curse and a vengeful priest.

The Hero:

Ben, the main character, is not a perfect guy. He’s a med student…

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