In November last year I posted about Thresholds. This project placed ten poets in ten Cambridge museums to meet researchers and explore the collections before writing poems inspired by the experience. The project is now complete and a website at http://www.thresholds.org.uk/ contains details including links to the poets reading aloud.
My last few posts have reflected on the performance of poetry. It’s a different experience to listen to the Threshold poets reading from a broad selection of their work, but without the poems to look at – without the words on the page – it feels incomplete. I lose interest quickly. for me, listening is too transient.
The Poetry Archive site http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/home.do offers unique access to the voice and style of dead poets. I can ‘hear’ T S Eliot, Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath. But I also have their words to supplement the poetry process. One of the images on the current Poetry Archive banner has the text ‘Poetry always begins and ends with listening.’ As Jung might say, this could be an example of ‘meaningful synchronicity.’
Thresholds are about opening doors and stepping through. Perhaps I need to explore my resistance to performance in more detail.
Temple of Isis on the Island of Philae in Egypt, 2013.