Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Don Taylor, 30 June 1936- 11 November 2003

My dad died six years ago today. If you click on this link, or this one or this one you can find out a bit more about him.

I wanted to write something a bit more personal at this point, but now I come to it I'd much rather let him speak for himself. When Dad was dying, he wrote a series of poems for my mum to read after he was dead- aimed, I suppose, at consolation, or as a continuation of their forty-seven year conversation and delight in each others' minds. Indeed, one of the poems encouraged her not to visit his grave after he was dead, but instead to read his work, so she could 'look into his living imagination'.

That imagination still lives, and dad would be delighted to know how much of his work is still being performed around the world. Every few months or so I meet someone who performed in 'The Roses of Eyam' at school or with their local amateur group; and Katie Mitchell's championing of his translations of Greek plays have led to more productions of those translations than he, or we, could ever have dreamed of.

When I want to look into his living imagination, I come back time and time again to one of those poems he wrote after the oncologist's sentence had been pronounced. It's called Roses.

'There is a rose garden at the end of the world.
The Old English roses are marvellously scented.
I shall sit there on long summer evenings,
Drinking white wine, and breathing in the perfume,
Marvellously contented.

When the shadows close on you too,
I shall be waiting, if anywhere, in the Rose Garden
Drinking good white burgundy,
At peace with what I have been and done.'

As I said at the funeral six short, long years ago- enjoy your peace, lovely daddy. You have deserved it.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Silence broken, by a bloody great plug.

Well, why not?

You have a week to listen to this lovely programme on the iplayer- Robert Webb talking about his favourite pieces of poetry and prose. He's a great companion in this kind of thing and his choices are fascinating.

In the name of full disclosure, I might mention that I did some of the reading out.