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Charles Tomlinson is one of the leading poets of this generation: a man who has written in a highly individual style, uninfluenced by contemporary fashion, but in close touch with, developments, pa...rticularly in modern American poetry. He is a painter as well as a poet, and many of his poems are concerned with ways of seeing and with the beauty of the visual world, especially of the remote west country landscape in which he lives. But he is also highly conscious of urban experience - of his own roots in the Potteries and of the violence and confusion of much contemporary city life. Some of his recent poems deal with these themes strikingly. This programme explores these different aspects of Charles Tomlinson's poetry. It also shows him reading his poems, both in public and in private, at his home. It is introduced by the poet and Alasdair Clayre, who produced the programme.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A306, Twentieth century poetry
Item code: A306; 16
First transmission date: 25-09-1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:02
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Producer: Alasdair Clayre
Contributors: Alasdair Clayre; Charles Tomlinson
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): The Potteries
Subject terms: Literature; Poetry
Footage description: Alasdair Clayre provides a brief introduction to Charles Tomlinson over shots of the Potteries, where the poet grew up, and of Tomlinson's home in the Cotswolds. Briefly, Tomlinson explains how a poem can grow from a simple phrase. Film of Tomlinson at the 1975 Cambridge Poetry Festival, where he explains the background to his poem The Fox Gallery before reading it. Tomlinson explains how the form of the poem gives it an impetus. He analyses the stresses of certain of the poem's lines, which are displayed. Film of Tomlinson painting and working on a collage. He describes the kind of painting he does and compares the fortuitous nature of both painting and rhyme. From this, he draws conclusions about the writing of poetry. At the Cambridge Poetry Festival Tomlinson first gives the setting of and then reads the poem The Picture of J.T. in a Prospect of Stone. Tomlinson describes how he came to write this poem. Photographs of his daughter, who is the subject of the poem, are shown. Tomlinson talks about his home town Stoke on Trent, over shots of potteries. Interviewed at his Cotswold home he explains the way that his background has affected his painting. Film of him painting and of some finished paintings. He explains his aims in his painting. He compares poetry and painting as forms of art, especially their ability to treat water as a subject. Clayre comments on Tomlinson's philosophy of life and on how it is manifested in his work. Tomlinson reads Written on Water. Tomlinson reads the humorous poem Mr. Brodsky at the Cambridge Poetry Festival. Totnlinson concludes the programme with his reading of The Way In.
Master spool number: 6HT/72282
Production number: 00525_3190
Videofinder number: 729
Available to public: no