Tuesday 20 October 2009


History is six things in this poem; each one clear and real but poignant too. You don't have to take the MA Research and Methods course to write this poem but you will understand it better if you have. So how is that? How can the Pam, who has not done the course (I presume), be so far ahead in her 'History' than those who have done the course? Maybe this tell us something about the nature of history - an intensely human and natural activity that needs no technicals? Or maybe it tell us something about our Poet Laureate who sees in the dark? I'm not sure. But it's certainly a fine fingered handling of what we do.

History is six things. It is some kind of climb to the top: what the poet calls "a plinth moment". There are students who like to write like this. There are staff who like to write like this - to the summit, so we can see better, and be admired for reaching it. 70 plus double first no question. Now come down, now and tell us what history really is
It is Nelson, "stepping down"; he's had his plinth moment and now his back is broken - hardly stepping - but no longer Admiral of the Fleet that's for sure. There are those who say he wanted it this way.

It is light, a "dawning": I get this every day. OK not a dawning so much but often more than a Duracell and occasionally more than a halogen. Last time i had it was watching Lee Hall's Pitmen Painters when jimmy decides to do a Blob and is told he cant.

It is a text, a voice from then. We dont read texts it's true: we listen to them.

It is a croft, a candle, a bloody great house with a chandelier. Whose history shall we choose?

It's a way eyes close.