Having finally accepted that being a political activist of any sort is a rather futile past-time,(it's only taken me forty five years!) I thought I'd record what happens for me culturally during 2012. This will be for my own benefit although if anyone happens on this blog and sees a post that they find interesting, they are welcome to post a comment.
January 2012 finds me halfway through a couple of Open University modules: A177 Introduction to Shakespeare and A150 Voices and Texts. In the Shakespeare I've completed one assignment on The Taming of the Shrew and am about to start a longer one on Romeo and Juliet. In Voices and Texts I've been struggling with doing 'group work' on-line. Not an easy task and one which I have found immensely frustrating. The subject matter - John Donne's Holy Sonnet VII and Book 22 of Homer's The Iliad have been terrific, trying to create a 'wiki-page' to which seven people contribute over the Christmas period has been a trial.
I managed to ready 50+ books of various sorts last year and hope to up this to 60 this year. Currently, I'm well into Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin as my non-fiction work and The Last Hundred Days by Patrick McGuiness as bedtime reading, and I'm thoroughly enjoying both.
My long-term project for the years is a poem a week in accordance with the recommendations of Ruth Padel in her terrific little book 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem. Week 1 is Jo Shapcott's Mrs Noah: Taken After The Flood and Ruth Padel gives a feminist interpretation which had simply not occurred to me stemming from a particular meaning of the word 'taken' in the title. Apparently. the poem has more to do with sex than with animals. Clearly, I have a lot to learn about modern and post-modern poetry.
A couple of days ago, as a member of the Poetry Society, I nominated a collection of poems for the Ted Hughes Award, presumptuous of me I know, but this collection entitled Catulla et al by Tiffany Atkinson has had me laughing ever since I bought it a couple of months ago. A wonderfully exuberant and quirky collection guaranteed to brighten anyone's day.
2012 looks like being a bumper year in culture with the Cultural Olympiad, the World Shakespeare Festival, the Charles Dickens bi-centenary and the centenary of the birth of Lawrence Durrell, not forgetting Hay25 - so much to look forward to.