Follow Harriet on Twitter
Brian Eno is Still Making Poetry Cool
We previously reported on this collaboration between Brian Eno and poet Rick Holland, which resulted in the LP Drums Between the Bells. Now there’s a follow-up EP, Panic of Looking.
Lucy Jones, for the Telegraph, asked the question “Can Brian Eno make poetry cool?” We think this is a rhetorical question, but here’s a bit of what she had to say:
I love a bit of Elizabeth Bishop as much as the next English Lit. grad but, let’s be honest, contemporary poetry is seriously uncool. There are, of course, exceptions (John Ashbery, Rosemarie Waldrop, Mark Ford, Kate Tempest and her gritty, heart-rending raps) but, on the whole, poets have an iffy rep. Gone are the days of New York slams and the Beats; now they’re portrayed as navel-gazing hippies who don’t brush their teeth. Less Byron, more Dalston Superstars.
This is a shame. Poetry rocks. So it was with great pleasure that I snaffled up the new EP from Brian Eno and the poet Rick Holland. They call it “poetry music” but Eno’s signature ambience lets the words take centre stage.
Holland admits even he struggles with poetry and its “stuffy connotations”:
I went to a couple of poetry recitals a long time ago and was really turned off by how the thing were run and how they were delivered.
I didn’t like the formal aspect of sitting down and facing a collection of readers, most of whom weren’t particularly proficient or confident at reading. What they were saying might have been interesting but I found that sitting down and listening to six people pour their heart and soul out is just a bit much.