I have a friend who does. So for Chris’s birthday I got her a clock with spaces round it instead of numbers for photos of her grandchildren. I gave her the clock because she is always looking for new ways to display pics of the little ones – apparently the 300 she has on show already aren’t enough! I’m getting to the poetry relevant bit.
Over the years I have bought her a few poetry books, all from Leakey’s book store in Inverness. It’s a fantastic second hand book shop set in an old church and they do excellent soup. I like old books and have a few myself that I acquired from an Uncle’s Aunt when I was 16. I’ve never read them, they are just too ‘wordy’ but I just love them. Some are over a 100 years old and I think it’s the attention to detail, like the marbled page edges and the tissue type paper that covers some of the illustrations that appeals. This along with the sense of history that someone held the book when it was brand new and how many people must have held it over the years (which is maybe reason not to touch them for a while as I don’t know how many bacteria, I mean, people have touched them and where exactly they’ve been). Mind you, it wouldn’t have been any of my ancestors that were holding the book since they were too busy working as coal merchants, raising numerous children, blowing glass, being illiterate, becoming nuns and then unbecoming nuns (possibly due to unbecoming behaviour), avoiding the work house and in the case of one of my great, great grandmothers being a sempstress! This is an old expression for seamstress, but judging by the children she had without fathers listed and the complete ‘untraceability’ of her first husband I think it may be more in line with the Disc World novels’ concept of Seamstresses Guild!
So previously I’ve bought Chris old poetry books on the basis that the poet kind of sounded familiar and the book was nice! However this year the book was brand spanking new and was Susie Hemingway’s A Power Within – poems written about her husband Hamada and their experiences with myeloma.
Chris loved it. I gave it her last Thursday and she finished it on Sunday which is good going considering as well as seeing the grand kids she had probably stuck up another 100 photos of them too!
What Chris actually said was…
‘It’s brilliant! I enjoyed it, if enjoyed is the right word because it’s so sad, Susie writes what she’s feeling and it comes across so clearly.’