Monday, 26 May 2008

To jig or not to jig, that is the question...

In The Independent on Sunday (11 May 2008) the following from appears on 'The Critics' pages: "Mechanical Bride's rejig of the best pop song of the year is a masterpiece of gentle piano work, hushed breath and whispering pleading..." and from reviewer Sonia Zhuravlyova on the same page "Mechanical Bride...specialises in experimental, dreamy electro-folk..." (bold caps from P-i-R). The reason that Poet-in-Residence mentions the above reviews is that he wishes to justify his own use and selection of the word rejig in a poetry book review he did about 18 months ago. Working to a strict word limit P-i-R then remarked or implied that the poet __ ___ had come to notice by rejigging 'Under Milk Wood' to much acclaim and that this poet's new book was of an equally high and significant quality and standard. Harmless stuff you might suspect. But no so. A storm in a teacup is brewing.
True, P-i-R ought to have explained himself more fully in the following or similar terms: The poet __ ___ who resurrected and took forward the play for voices idea behind Dylan Thomas's inspirational and reverential work 'Under Milk Wood' .... (and so on). But, P-i-R didn't do so. He assumed, wrongly it appears, that the word rejig implied in this day and age a positive, ground-breaking and artistic quality as with the Mechanical Bride review mentioned above.
In Poet-in-Residence's mind a jig, as well as being a dance and other things, is a sail on a boat. And as Dylan Thomas often wrote of fishing boats lounging on the mud flats in Laugharne this choice of the word rejig came along quite naturally. But now, thinking deeply about all this, and the fact that the ball that the young Dylan Thomas threw in the park has not come down (as he rightly predicted) it seems to Poet-in-Residence we are all re-jiggers in a sense. The best we can do is pick up the ball and run with it. And see where we get to.

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