Poetry, and some great design. A perfect match.

I’ve been absent from my blog for a bit, due to working on exciting Other Stuff. I’m actually missing it a bit, which is either lovely or a sign that I need to get out more. Or both!

Sleeping Keys

Two things: Firstly, it’s National Poetry Day today, apparently. And, as luck would have it, I’ve just bought my first new poetry book in ages, after hearing the author Jean Sprackland on Womens’ Hour. (Yes, I do listen whenever I get the chance. I love it! AND the Archers. Although after that I do usually switch to 6music just to remind myself that I’m not actually my parents. Yet. And incidentally, whilst we’re on the subject of radio, I now find it impossible to do housework without listening – and singing along to – Absolute Radio 90s. Britpop and a bit of light house music turns out to be a perfect soundtrack to washing the kitchen floor and dusting. Don’t tell Blur that though.)

ANYWAY. Sleeping Keys is a really beautiful collection, and I can totally recommend it to anyone who likes easily accessible and elegantly crafted poetry. (Oh, and check out Jean Sprakland’s website. It’s also beautiful.) There’s also a great review of the poems here, which explains far better than I can why this is such a good collection.

Sometimes particular lines of poetry catch me because of their familiarity. In the poem ‘In’ she writes:

“First week in the new house and there’s a muddle over keys.

She’s back from somewhere with her daughter in her arms,

Three months old, electric with hunger. “

I especially love ‘electric with hunger.’ The screaming of a hungry baby does have that about it. And I have done that very thing, and been stood in a doorway, sheltering from the rain, with a weeping toddler clinging on to my knee, and a screaming baby, realising that I am locked out. That is truly a feeling of utter despair, and possibly best viewed from a distance.

The other thing is that I while ago I mentioned that I’d had my blog header redesigned, and that I love it. The masterpiece is by a brilliant young lady called Beth Burr, who I ‘met’ totally by chance when I tweeted about needing someone to design some charity t’s. I was so impressed by her work, that I asked her to make me a new blog header too, while she was at it. She is clearly going to be a massive graphic-design superstar, and you should all check out her work here, immediately.

And the charity t’s? Well they are going to be in production very soon. But they’re so fab I can’t resist showing off a sneak-peek. They’re going to raise money for the charity which supports people with the rare condition that Polly was born with, PKU. They are so lovely I almost can’t get over them!

BethBurrPKU BethBurrPKU2

The patterns in the second one are based on protein structures. PKU necessitates a low-protein diet. I didn’t ask Beth to do that (I hadn’t even thought of it!) – she just did it. Such a simple idea, but it somehow makes these all the more special.

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