Sunday, August 31, 2008
Not the Full Story - six interviews with Lee Harwood
I've been slowly working my way through this book, with Harwood's Collected to hand to look up the poems he talks about. The interviews, conducted by Kelvin Corcoran, discuss the work in chronological order, with a times, a certain reticence, or unwillingness to be drawn on Harwood's part, which leads to some amusing exchanges:
KC: ...'Desert Phone'... begins "my heart melts at the sound of your voice, the sight of your words", that's a very striking beginning.
LH: I don't think so.
KC: You're wrong.
LH: I see it as a literal series of events.
KC: But that's why it's striking...
This book has given me quite an insight into Lee's work, especially in relation to the early poetry, to his university days and to the early period in Soho and Brighton. He also discusses the influence of an F.T. Prince, who was a mentor during this period. It's fascinating to hear him discussing the poem, 'Summer', which he can't now remember writing, quite objectively as if it were someone else's poem; which in a sense, it is, as no-one in their sixties is the same person they were in their twenties.