WORD SHARING!

WORD SHARING!

25.2.08

twinning news

TWINNING NEWS 25/2//2008

Just back from another successful mission to Newcastle's Dutch twin city of Groningen is Geordie poet Keith Armstrong. Armstrong performed 4 readings in one day at the City Hall, Public Library, Werkman College and Cafe Marleen. He was accompanied on this occasion by folk singer Gary Miller and joined during his stay by new Groningen City Poet Rense Sinkgraven who visited Newcastle last year.

Plans are aready afoot for a Groningen cultural delegation to visit Newcastle with a performance at the Bridge Hotel on November 4th and a meeting with Newcastle's Lord Mayor. Already invited for this one are poets Rense Sinkgraven and Tjitse Hofman and Groningen band The Waistcoats, who performed with Keith in the Cafe Marleen.

Armstrong returns to another old haunt Tuebingen in South Germany in early June for performances as part of Kulturnacht in Durham's twin city.

And, in between times, he's in Limerick, Ireland, at the end of April to help launch a new anthology of poetry from Newcastle and Limerick and to meet the city's Mayor. Nine Limerick poets come to Newcastle on June 25th to celebrate the anthology's Tyneside launch and, of course, to be greeted by the city's Lord Mayor.

So the twinning continues!


More info: Northern Voices tel 0191 2529531.

22.2.08

poem from groningen city poet













Newcastle upon Tyne

The Tyne throws us the town when
the pier embraces us. Cranes and forgotten
dockyards shore up the horizon.
The ship throbs through a contented snooze.
Stuffed men breakfast on beer,
women like buffalo stare into unfulfilled dreams.
The casino blows their chances time and again.
Escape the weather in shopping paradises,
visit Grainger Market to buy what you already have.
In the pub nobody’s a stranger,
the solid smell of boundless boozing,
we toast to good fortune and sorrow shared.
Give me a drink, shatter the glasses,
scream the punters awake, knock down the town
with tender phrases, make me feel secure.
When your home has become a road
what then is still a safe place to sleep?
Only memory provides a comfy bed.
The boat ploughs the dark waters.
Newcastle waves its dirty grey plumes.
There’s bingo for the hopeless.


Rense Sinkgraven
[translation Willem Groenewegen, 2007]

remember









I REMEMBER IVOR ALLCHURCH



Golden Boy,
I remember you
made me queue
with all the other Geordie lads
in one straight line
down the car park
for your autograph.
Patiently,
one by one,
you signed for us.
A Swansea son,
footballing gentleman,
all those years ago,
you impressed me
with your calm consideration:
a measured passer
of dignity
through generations.






KEITH ARMSTRONG




*Ivor Allchurch (1929 -1997) played for Newcastle United 143 times between 1958 and 1962 and scored 46 goals.

20.2.08

forever

FOREVER (WELL, IT’S ANOTHER DAY!)

(for Carolyn & Christoph)


Forever
flooded in my heart,
I am bloodlogged
with the flow of you.
Tuebingen,
you gush
with hard-earned smiles
for me;
you are the sum
of all those leaves
I’ve scraped together
to find a little happiness
in this gorgeous day.
It’s the chance meeting
of a fragile poet
and a fleeting Swabian muse;
it’s a beautiful cat
chasing a singing bird;
a flight of fancy,
a dash of hot wine
with warm friends,
whose tasteful photographs
and gleaming laughter
I will treasure
in my sparkling veins
forever.



KEITH ARMSTRONG

wilhelmstrasse days

15.2.08

poetry boat



SONG FOR FRIEDRICH HOLDERLIN

‘The lines of life are various;
they diverge and cease like footpaths
and the mountain’s utmost ends.’

(Extract from a Holderlin poem addressed to Zimmer the carpenter, in whose Tuebingen house Holderlin lived for the last thirty six years of his life).

‘When from the depths spring enters into life,
men marvel and new words aspire out of their intelligence;
joy returns and festively poetry and songs arise.’

(Written on Holderlin’s last birthday, 20th March 1843).


Suddenly, peacefully,
you’re slipping afloat,
your drifting past
in a poetry-boat.

Scaliger Rosa,
Scaliger Rosa.
Buonarotti,
Buonarotti.
Scardinelli,
Scardinelli,
joy returns
and songs arise.

Crafted by Zimmer,
a sculptor of Woods,
your coffin is filled
with magical words.

Scaliger Rosa,
Scaliger Rosa.
Buonarotti,
Buonarotti.
Scardinelli,
Scardinelli,
joy returns
and songs arise.




Keith Armstrong


Note: The chorus is based on pseudonyms used by Holderlin.

12.2.08

wartime groningen

Grote Markt 11 mei 1940
Herebrug

10.2.08

hotel friesland in groningen

Kleine Pelsterstraat  Hotel Friesland ±1904

the jingling geordie

My photo
whitley bay, tyne and wear, United Kingdom
poet and raconteur