Monthly Archives: April 2017

Linda Chase

Yesterday it was six years ago the poet Linda Chase died after a short illness.  My poet friend Keith Lander has kept the email “Dear List” alive that Linda started years ago.  It arrives on Sunday with a long list of all the poetry events in and around Manchester.  Linda also started the fabulous Poets and Players series of readings.  They’re held at the Whitworth and attract a sizeable audience of well over a hundred.

I was on the first poetry course that Linda ran in her Village Hall in October 2004 and from then I regularly attended other courses she ran or organised.  She helped me become a poet and my debut collection is dedicated to her memory.

Look at – the on-line archive for sample poems, background information on her careers – stage costume designer and Tai Chi teacher – and some wonderful photos that show her generosity, energy and spirit…

Plotting with the dead

This poem by WisƗawa Szymborska, published in her Selected Poems View with a Grain of Sand, starts with two questions:-
Under what conditions do you dream of the dead?
Do you often think of them before you fall asleep?
The poem consists of five five-line stanzas. Some lines are shorter, some longer, but they are all questions.

It’s a striking title – we want to read on, but I can only say that I find it easier to think or dream of the dead people in my life than to write a poem that’s entirely made up of questions. I promise to give it a go. Meanwhile, below is the haiku that was published in the British Haiku Society’s Members’ Anthology (2002) under the theme Hidden:-

on her skin
a pattern of purple lines –
radiographer’s map