Thursday, 9 August 2007

Curlews and call centres

My sincere thanks to the friend who, continuing the theme of curlew poems, sent me a link to this poem by Jeremy Hooker on the Poetry Archive website. Not only can you read the poem, you can also hear the poet reading it. Hooker says that he 'tries' to 'capture the haunting cry in words' and in my view he succeeds beautifully. A quick visit to the homepage of the Poetry Archive will be enough to get anyone going back and dipping in on a regular basis.

Isn't it sad when voicemail messages disappear of one's phone? A message on my mobile this morning warned me that some of mine were coming up for deletion in the next [different voice: 'three'] days, which reminded me of a poignant radio play I listened to, probably a couple of years ago, in which a woman had lost her dear friend (? daughter/sister . . . my memory of the facts is vague) in some catastrophe and the only link she retained with her loved one was a voicemail message, which was about to be deleted in [different voice: 'two'] days' time. What stayed in my mind was the mounting desperation with which she tried to get some sense out of the telephone call-centre staff - 'Where will the message go?' 'It's been recorded, so there must be a copy somewhere that can be saved for me? - It must exist somewhere. Why can't I keep it forever? Why can't you make an exception and not delete it? Please?' Of course, nobody could help. She listened to the voicemail for the very last time and then it was gone, forever, and with it her last tangible connection with her friend. It was a devastating scene.

Well, I'm off to see Shrek III this afternoon, so I'd better get on with some work while I can. Enjoy the curlew poem, and if anyone comes across any others on the same theme, do please send them along. I can feel an anthology coming on!

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