I’ve had a brilliant idea for a sitcom. The ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ team could do this easily, and the script writes itself, but it would have to be done by Asians otherwise it might look dodgy.
So, you have an Indian restaurant called ‘Balti Towers’. It’s very badly run by a high-caste Hindu who has come down in the world and resents his customers. There’s a waiter from the Punjab (‘I’m so sorry, he’s from Amritsar’) and a cowboy builder from Bengal. One day a party of English customers comes in and Balti says ‘Don’t mention the Raj. I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it.’
I’m thinking of writing a synopsis and sending it to the Beeb. Whaddaya think? I could definitely work in ‘a small aubergine’ somewhere…
Yesterday was busy. I spent the morning at a smoking keyboard judging poems in the Hysteria Women’s Poetry Competition. By and large this was a real pleasure; I enjoyed reading the poems and there was a lot of variety of form, subject matter and style. There was even a perfectly formed sonnet; plus a sestina (I think it was a sestina) villanelle, and lots of free verse. Rhyme was generally not used well, but I think that’s a feature of our age. We tend to assume that rhyme (accurate, continuing rhyme) is only for birthday cards. There were one or two comic verses, and the subject matter was extremely varied. True, there were the themes you might expect: abortion, children (having and losing), relationships, ageing – but all human life was here and it by no means felt like a ‘women’s thing’. In fact sometimes I had to remind myself that the writers were all women. The standard in general was not bad, and there were a few utterly excellent poems and many good ones. Fortunately I don’t have to choose the best; I just rate them on a scale of 1-10 for various qualities.
I’m not very good at the technical bits of poetry. Mark’s always asking me what chiasm is and how exactly a sestina works, and I can’t keep it in my head.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a chiasm…