Saturday, December 30, 2006

Simon sacking Mandy.

I am listening to Ian Mackellen and Simon West sound Simon Armitage's rendering of the Annonomously authored alliterative romance - Sir Gawain and the Green Night, the 14C poem written in what is known as an alliterative revival style of that period.

It is the finest revisiting of the old-school I have witnessed since reading Derek Hines interpretation of the world's oldest tale - the Sumerian Gilgamesh myth - from a few years back, and I suspect that this classic tale, expertly rendered readably poetic in the contemporary vernacular, will be a commercial cross-over, critical smash hit and cause for his reputation to slide up the Anglo-Lingo pole of the mainstream readers mind, so he will be matched as a contendor from officialdom - amongst the volunteer Laureates intriguing to get their hands on Mandy Motion's butt of sack - for the hot seat in a flowery dell at the oracle where state-bards and professional bores slug it out for the UK's chief crown of eloquence.

Of course, others will be scheming for national recognition of their own gods. For JH Prynne, Bob Cobbing or Sebastian Barker to be dug up and posthumously knighted and interned at the abbey; or engaged in continual and covert leakings of Vicki Veaver's credentials for the post when politicking at the wine and cheese tables of London poesy with the top brass.

There will even be cranks and crackpots on the various campaigns mon compadres. Daftos advocating Sir Ken Dodd for Emperor at the Poetry Society or Ian McMillan for the chair at Harvard.

Hopefully there will be some ruthlessly engaged with losing their senses when self-promoting, in their quest to be cloaked with the mantle of Ard Ollamh - in the White House pub, Limerick - this October as part of the International Cuisle poetry festival. Attempting to inveigle themselves into the inner sanctum of the executive commitee and influence members of the selection panel of the inaugural All Ireland Live Literature Championship, by grace and favour, brown envelopes, back-handers and bungs in bog cubicles.

I certainly hope so, and if anyone out there wants to curry favour and inprove their standing with me in my official capacity as Chairman and senior derelict of this commitee, please get in touch by way of a cash bribe.


This is Annonymous/Armitage at the very end of the poem, when Sir Gawain explains how he came by the girdle the wife of the Green knight gave him.

"Through this I suffered a scar to my skin
for my loss of faith was physically defaced

what a coveting coward I became it seems.

I was tainted by untruth and this - it's token
I will drape across my chest till the day I die

for mans' crimes can be covered but never
made clean. Once entwined with sin, man is
twinned for all time"

So that slanting green stripe was adopted as
their sign. Each knight who held it was
honoured forever.

An adventure which happened in the era of
Arthur. And ever since Brutus gave birth to
the British - once the seizure, assault and
slaughter at Troy had ceased - our coffers
have been crammed with stories such as these.


Anyone who has read this poem in it's original form must agree that he has done a beyond brilliant job Mon amis, non?

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