Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/23780

Posted on 17 October 2016 at 15:18 GMT

TV review: BBC2's Poetry Night

'Railway Nation' and 'Let Them Eat Chaos'

"What am I to make of all this?"

Dave Gorton, Chesterfield Socialist Party
Kate Tempest photo Tramlines Festival/Creative Commons

Kate Tempest photo Tramlines Festival/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

BBC2's Poetry Night - a collection of poetry programmes - got off to an inauspicious start, with a preparatory school-educated chef eulogising over a preparatory school-educated poet.

I've never really warmed to Betjeman. All rather conservative - the type of poetry you can imagine Ukip leaders rhapsodising about, when they're not too busy resigning or hospitalising each other.

The evening picked up with a reimagining of the journey from London to Glasgow made famous by Auden's 'Night Mail'. 'Railway Nation' featured five contemporary poets composing a poem each on a leg of the journey.

It was an interesting concept, well executed. The wonderful Liz Berry was the highlight on her trek north from Birmingham through "the Black Country's surprising green and blue" and "the secret nettled heaven of the allotments".

The highlight, though, was the live performance of Kate Tempest's new work 'Let Them Eat Chaos', recently released in both book and album form. It truly is an amazing work.

It takes as its theme seven individuals in one street in south-east London, awake at 4.18 in the morning, "counting sheepishly their mistakes". Tempest's polemic captures modern-day Britain, unsurprisingly erring on the darker, more isolated side:

And these are the only times you have known.

"Is this what it's come to?" you think,

"What am I to make of all this?"

The carer, the late night reveller, the PR guy - a track each, a poem each within the larger piece.

Esther's worried about the world tonight.

She's worried all the time.

In fact she don't know how she's supposed to put it from her mind.

That is the lead-in to 'Europe Is Lost' - which goes on to say:

It's big business baby, and its smile is hideous.

Top-down violence, a structural viciousness.

Your kids are doped up on medical sedatives.

But don't worry 'bout that, man. Worry 'bout terrorists.

The music, a rapidly changing and occasionally stark hip-hop or electronic backing that aficionados will know from her previous recorded work, complements the work perfectly. The show is available on BBC iPlayer until 31 October - catch it, then buy the album.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 17 October 2016 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Review:

triangleBT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

triangleTV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

triangleComprehensive account of bloody conflict

triangleWell-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

BBC:

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleBBC yawning pay gaps revealed

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

17/1/18

Theatre

Theatre: 'Young Marx' shows growth in great platform for his ideas

17/1/18

Isis

Opinion: British imperialism can take no credit in fight against Isis

17/1/18

Carers

Opinion: foster care is work - carers deserve workers' rights

10/1/18

Housing

Debate: should tower blocks form part of socialist housing policy?

10/1/18

Art

Art can help expose sexual harassment

10/1/18

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

3/1/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

3/1/18

Work Capability Assessment

Tory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

13/12/17

The Socialist

The Socialist's 2017 quiz

6/12/17

Fire

The Socialist Inbox

6/12/17

Surrey

Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane

6/12/17

Labour Party

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

30/11/17

Theatre

Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

22/11/17

Working class

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears

22/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2