Hello, Poetry Lovers!
Yes!! We’re back in the studio again!
(the audience cheers)
We have a wonderful guest on the show, so let’s give him a big welcome…..
(audience go wild – security on standby)….
Heeere’s Eddie Chauncy
(rapturous applause as Eddie descends the lighted stairs gracefully)
Eddie, welcome to the show!
(pandemonium – the host silences the audience with a look)
How I love that fringe suede jacket and crushed velvet trousers! You’ve been up Carnaby Street, obviously…..
A pleasure, Heather. And yes, you’ve read me like a book….. great jacket but just don’t eat soup in it! I worry though that the raspberry trousers are a bit much!
(audience loudly disagree)
You’re the man of the moment, Eddie. You invented the term Cool! You can wear anything!
(rapturous cheers from the crowd)
.(tension in the air as the host sweeps everything off the desk assertively)
Tell us a bit about your background…..
I was born in 1965, and have always liked to write. When at school, the chance to write a poem was a treat. The rest of my education had a strong academic focus, and learning Latin and Greek gave me a strong linguistic discipline.
Also, the way I was encouraged to analyse poetry, all the way up to undergraduate level, gave me an appreciation of what poetry could contain. Most importantly, I had a chain of wonderful English teachers all the way through, who, one after the other, gave me encouragement.
In adulthood, I had a business career, but have kept on writing all the way through. Latterly, a second degree in psychological counselling have given me new insights into how to see the self and the mind.
That’s a very impressive background, Eddie.
How did poetry become a part of your life?
I have written poetry for as long as I can remember. When young, I used to draft poems by hand, then get out my mother’s typewriter, and bash out the words. That gave me a sense of both the hard work of drafting, and the importance of presentation.
One particular English teacher, when I was eleven, took me seriously with an attention that helped me focus on developing. Later, poetry was the companion to my emotional and intellectual development.
It was only years later that I got involved in reading poetry out loud. To me, it’s the art of sharing minds, such a privilege, and great to listen to other people in the flesh.
Ah, those typewriters! I remember yearning for a Golfball! You did start very young.
Who are your biggest influences?
My education stuffed me full of all the age of the poets, which have become a part of my automatic expression. At Cambridge I focused on the Romantics. It seemed to be that, around that time, poetry developed two different strands – one elegant, pious and beautiful; and another conversational, egalitarian and direct.
I think my poetry has increasingly explored the tension between both, and has played with engaging through beauty, but also surprising through directness.
We may have a history of elegant poetry, but we have also evolved a thing called conversation, which is arguably richer and more nuanced than any poetic tradition could be. So my biggest influence is the way we all talk, naturally. I spent years, in my psychology studies, transcribing recordings of individuals talking about their deeper emotions.
People who have engaged with anxiety and depression, and found ways of expressing that for other in kind words and deeds – they are the poets for whom I have the greatest respect.
That’s fascinating, Eddie. Yes, conversation can be the richest of experiences and education.
Now, your last pamphlet Poems from 2014-2018 was unique and quirky and moving. Do you have another on the horizon?
I don’t publish formally, as I prefer the personal aspect of sharing privately, or the group aspect of sharing in person.
The pamphlet you mention was made for a poetry reading, and sold to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. My sister died of cancer and I’ll never forget the kindness of the nurses.
Every year, I print all the poems I write into a book. It’s a habit I started for my parents. About 80 to 100 poems a year. Each collection now has a name and an introduction.
Previous names have included The Politics of Longings (2018), and But You Let the Hours Fall (2019). Some people buy a copy each year, which is nice. This year’s will be called ‘Identity’.
Well, Eddie, I for one, will want to get my hands on that. Your work really is superb
(audience ripple with murmers of agreement that threatens to get out of hand).
Yes, I remember you bringing your pamphlets to the Adelaide in March 2019. The amazing piece about your sister was so moving. You could hear a pin drop that night.
Now, tell us the best gig you’ve ever done – then the worst!
I don’t think of them as gigs, just invitations to read. I don’t really know how to answer, as I find reading both a happy privilege, and an excruciating and demanding thing, both at the same time. I am very glad my dad came to one I did at G-Live, because it was the first and last time he saw me read, and that means something.
The worst gig wasn’t poetry – I was the lead singer in a band, and was so shy that I sat cross-legged on stage, facing away from the audience. It was well-received, and I think I accidentally found a modus operandi. In my poetry too, I’d rather let the words speak, than display too much ephemerally.
Gosh, Eddie, I can imagine you as a rock & roll guy. These things stay with us….
Well, what can I say? Thank you so much for being on the show. (rapturous pandemonium from the audience).
And I hope and pray that one day we’ll both be performing live again. (esctatic clapping)
Where you off to now? Somewhere cool, I bet……
Off to the Lightbox disco in Woking, with Greg, Rodney, the Dempsey’s……..(clamps his hand over his mouth) Whoops!!!
Grr. They all told me they were staying in and watching Z Cars!! One day, I’ll get invited, you’ll see. If I work very hard.
Well, Heather, I’m going to leg it now before Dobby comes off security duty. These jacket fringes will be too tempting…….
(our lovely guest takes the lighted stairs two at a time)……
Wasn’t Eddie just amazing, PL’s?! A very strong and talented poet. Thank you for tuning in, and we’ll be back shortly with more poetry antics.
Meanwhile, I think Dobby has just found Eddie, going by those screams upstairs…..