So Here's To You, Mr Robinson

Having read this interview with Gene Robinson, the Anglican bishop in an openly gay relationship, I felt like I was starting to figure out a way into this project from a creative point of view. It's not like there's a dearth of things to say about the subject - the question is finding a means of cutting through the morass of possible topics and arriving at a coherent, worthwhile piece of poetry. The interview brought home that this isn't just a dry ecumenical debate - it's people's lives. Bishop Robinson and his partner regularly receive death threats - how anyone could consider themselves Christian whilst sending death threats to a bishop just blows my mind.

The idea that a loving relationship could cause so much fear and hatred has proved something of a catalyst. Most of the poetry I write for performance is comic, but I was desperate not to slip into the easy rhythms of cheap satire or nudge-wink innuendo that characterise my normal output. They'd be an easy disguise to put on here, but I think the brief challenges us to extend ourselves outside of our normal artistic comfort zones. I won't necessarily have produced an excellent poem by the end of the process, but at least I'll have attempted to stretch my range a little bit.

I've written a first draft, provisionally titled 'So Here's To You, Mr Robinson' - it's a dreadful pun, I know, but I couldn't resist. It's character-led rather than opinion-led, but I'm hoping that will strengthen its message rather than detract from it. I've fought through the stirrings of a grim cold to bash out a first draft. In the white heat of creation, I was pretty chuffed - then I got the urge to pick at it, and now I'm unsure whether it works at all. I think I have to accept that this is an experiment, and leave it for at least a day. Hopefully, when I return to it, I'll have gained some critical perspective and I'll be able judge what changes need making or whether I need to start from scratch!


Post a Comment

<< Home