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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Tony Harrison in Delphi: Polygons - A New Poem; Ouzo with Castalian Water; Byron's Graffito

BBC The Echo Chamber - "Paul Farley hears Tony Harrison read a new long poem called Polygons - a poem set in Delphi in Greece, that richly draws together many of the poetic preoccupations of his life: Greek tragedy, the wild landscapes of ancient human sacred sites, the deaths and passing of poetic mates, and the comforts of water and of wine". Producer: Tim Dee.

Wonderful to hear that voice again, and to 'revisit' Delphi with Tony Harrison

"The site below’s also closed where each year I’ve been
to run my pen finger over Byron’s graffito,
his name, carved on a column I can’t now get close to.
For the last thirty years I’ve witnessed it fading.
Each year it gets harder to find and decipher,
illegible nearly from decades of neglect
since he carved it with Hobhouse in 1809
below and alongside other British graffiti,
sailors on shore leave with ships in Itea.
The B of BYRON is under the E of one HOPE
with the O of HOBHOUSE below BYRON’s B.
And to puzzle all out needed Castalia water
which I’d pour from my bottle all over faint letters.
Sun shone on them wet and made them much clearer
before disappearing back into the marble".

Another reading on BBC 3, Free Thinking

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