Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chris and Donna in Liverpool and Northern Ireland

Donna and I have just returned from a trip to the United Kingdom. We were there October 16 through October 30.

After landing at Heathrow on Friday morning, Oct 16, we drove up to Liverpool where I was part of Poetry Kit's World Poetry Night at the Fly in the Loaf, Hardman Street.

The evening was arranged by Merseyside poet Jim Bennett.

At the Fly in the Loaf, Liverpool, Saturday, 17 October 2009

Nervous, you cross the fancy mosaic threshold of an ex-baker's shop,
nudge past garrulous and muscular young guzzlers, ascend
to the upstairs quiet hushed aerie where the poets gather.

No, it's no longer your city, though the street sign "Baltimore"
hard by the Fly in the Loaf at Hardman and Baltimore Streets
recalls your "other city" all those three thousand miles away. . .

"The Liverpool of America's East Coast" and how Adrian intro'ed
you as "a poet from Philadelphia" ha! and he told of streets
near his Mount Street home: Baltimore and Maryland,

testimony to Liverpool's slavery past. It's no longer Ade's
Liverpool or the slaver's Liverpool. Discursive as ever! Wrap
your mind round that. . . wrap your words round that, Poet!

Muscular words to tell of that evening, arc lamps burning,
sweating, drops of perspiration dot the paper. Now!
Squeeze the words out. Let the people hear. You're here.

Christopher T. George

On Monday, October 19, we left Liverpool for Lancaster, to stay at the Royal Arms on Market Street just down the hill from Lancaster Castle. We dined that night in a restaurant set in the vaults of an old merchant's house dating to 1688. The following morning we caught the car ferry from Heysham to Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland. The passage with rough with high winds and we laughed at each other trying to negotiate the rolling floor of the passengers lounge. Pretty wild.

That night we stayed at the Whistledown Hotel on the seafront at Warrenpoint. My friend and colleague Rostrevor historian Dr. John McCavitt arranged for us to stay in the bridal suite. The room had a magnificent view of Carlingford Lough looking over toward the Mountains of Mourne and General Ross's monument.

The following day, Wednesday, October 21, I gave a talk in Rostrevor, the home village of Major General Robert Ross, the man who captured Washington, D.C., on August 24, 1814, and burned the Capitol and White House and other public buildings. The 100-foot granite monument to Ross on the shoreline of Carlingford Lough has been recently restored by the District Council of Newry and Mourne. Chris is working with Dr. John McCavitt on a biography of General Ross.

Chris in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, with Mayor John Feehan, showing the Ross Monument in the background near the shoreline of Carlingford Lough. You can access the entire news cutting from the Newry Reporter through the title above.


nia said...

"Muscular words to tell of that evening, arc lamps burning,
sweating, drops of perspiration dot the paper. Now!
Squeeze the words out. Let the people hear. You're here."

Chris, this is so beautiful journey, I can see this and I can feel what means for you. I'm impressed so much. And I loved these lines, how beautifully expressed. You are one of my poet friends I have met, and now I can find another touches in your beautiful poetry voyages. History, memories, stories, feelings and thoughts they are all dragging me too in this wonderful voyage. Thank you.

Christopher T. George said...

Hello Nia

Thanks for your kind comment. Yes it meant a lot for me to read my poetry in the city of my birth!