D H Lawrence

D H Lawrence, Poet

Venue: Cafe Sladers, West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL
Map below

D H Lawrence - World Poets

This evening is for all of you who read and love poetry, whether or not you have yet discovered D H Lawrence as a poet and not only as the author of Sons and LoversThe Rainbow and other novels.

If you have ever read a poem by him, the chances are that it may well have been the unforgettable early portrait, in word, picture and sound, of Lawrence remembering a woman playing a piano, beginning:

“Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano . . .”

or maybe the intensely relived-moment-by-moment drama of a snake in Sicily:

“He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips . . .”

or, perhaps especially, the great late poem – one of his finest – which takes the idea of Bavarian gentians and extends it into the underworld lives of Persephone and Pluto as though that link were the most natural thing in the world:

“Reach me a gentian, give me a torch!
Let me guide myself with the blue, forked torch of a flower
down the darker and darker stairs, where blue is darkened on blueness . . .”

But then Lawrence, who called his 1920-23 collection Birds, Beasts and Flowers, was eminently a poet of nature (among many who came after, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath both admired him for it) and of so much more than that. D H Lawrence, Poet Night  will take up the story of how much more !

“Life is a travelling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken. We cannot know beforehand”.

D H Lawrence, Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine And Other Essays

“Most lawyers are prose people, I guess, and I’m a lawyer. So your poetic amalgam of Whitman/Lawrence and Graham is a late-in-life revelation for me. I was so especially struck by the bat poem that I’m immediately bringing it to the attention of a very old friend of ours, a world-leading bat researcher. Thanks for the evocative Lawrence piece”.
Charles Porter
San Luis Obispo
"I enjoyed the lecture on DH Lawrence so much that I have already listened to it twice. Your reading of the poems is so visual and clear that the audience is held in real attention. You also linked his poetry with his life and temperament in a most enlightening way. I learnt such a lot and really enjoyed it".
Jennifer Anderson
Excellent. You tie things in so well and so eloquently and give a fabulous contextual view of when and where and what has gone before and may come after when I don't have a wide knowledge of his poetry. I have read some of his letters, many of which sounded so wretched in his striving for his pantheistic sublime and utopian ideal. Lawrence so sensitive like Van Gogh (his letters are amazing too). And I enjoyed your reflections on demon/daemon. Fascinating. Thank you.
Chinks Grylls
Taunton, Somerset
"I did enjoy the D H Lawrence talk and Birds, Beasts and Flowers. Your reading of 'Man and Bat' was a real treat"
"I must write and congratulate you on a superb lecture. I came away with a completely fresh view of Lawrence as a poet. I found your reading of 'Snake' an incredibly emotional experience - went and looked it up - and became more transfixed. Also very interested in his line endings or where they didn't end ... just brilliant. I do hope the research and video gave you as much pleasure as it certainly did me, and I'm sure all your other viewers".
Celia Purcell
"A most enjoyable and enlightening lecture. During the evening, I wondered if the snake was really there."
Member of the audience
Farnham, Surrey

Tickets £12.50 or £30 with dinner (served from 6pm)

Tickets available from Cafe Sladers

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Top picture:  John Menard, Mt. Etna and Taormina as seen from the Ancient Theatre of Taormina

Right picture:  Ottoline Morrell, D H Lawrence, 1915

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