12 February 2013

Tuesday Poem: 'Partying with Katherine Mansfield'

You can listen to me read it by clicking the play button above, and you can follow along with the text below...

Partying with Katherine Mansfield

‘Don’t be a bore,’ says Katie
as she pulls me up by my arm
to the dance floor

She was proud to be the first woman
in the whole of London to wear purple stockings
She shows them off as she shimmies
her skirt above her knees

I teach her the twist and she spirals off
towards D H who has found
an ironing board from somewhere and
they take turns at sliding down, shrieking with laughter

She’s smiling and kissing
everyone in the room, sipping punch
now joining me at the open window
breathing in the cool night air

‘Today is a new day, a new year, a new age
It’s a new world,’ she says
‘We mustn’t live as if it isn’t’

I've shared this poem by me previously (though quite a while ago), but it seemed appropriate to share it again as this weekend there was a big Katherine Mansfield conference in Wellington. I didn't go along, but several of my friends did and it gave me a good opportunity to meet another of our Tuesday Poets Kathleen Jones and her husband. Kathleen is the author of the the most recent (and, in my opinion) best biography of KM.

I recorded the poem in the very high-tech studio of my bedroom with my phone. If you listen hard around the 40-second mark and a couple of times after, you'll hear a screeching which was one of the neighbour kaka screaming around nearby. It was a bit of an experiment, but I'd first done this fairly successfully when we had Twitter Poetry Night a few months ago.

There are lots more Tuesday Poems, which you can reach from the hub blog, and at the hub blog you'll find a poem by C. K. Stead from his new book, with an introduction (or postroduction?) from by Mary McCallum: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.co.nz.


Rachel said...

Very good poem Helen! I like it a lot. Rach

Sarah Jane Barnett said...

Great poem :-)

Helen McKinlay said...

Very cool and you read it beautifully. :-)

Helen Rickerby said...

Thanks guys! It was so easy to record. I feel like it's time we started some kind of audiopoetry internet revolution. (It will, of course, be non-violent.)

Kathleen Jones said...

Thanks Helen - love the poem - and it was great to meet you. Just a pity there was so little time! I'm really pleased that you liked the book - thanks for the nice words.

Helen Rickerby said...

Thanks Kathleen! I'm really glad you like it. And it was lovely to meet you. Let's do dinner next time! Or maybe in Italy! (I wish, though I suppose it isn't impossible.)

Madeleine Marie Slavick said...

Hi Helen, love it, particularly the ironing board -Madeleine