11/16/11

The Examiners, Take II, III, and IV

A year or so ago I was asked to do a reading outdoors in the downtown area here in town. It was a blustery, miserable evening and nobody at the microphone could be heard over the din and chaos of the wind. I knew I couldn't read any of my little lyrics into that bluster, so I leafed through my journal, which flew (did I mention it was windy?) open to John Whitworth's "The Examiners". It is a great, ambitious poem, full of foreboding and humor, paranoia and obsession, with a chilling, weird refrain and many sweet spots and blind alleys. Even the wind that night was no match for that poem. I do believe I might've actually howled it out.

That remarkable poem has now been put to music by John Wesley Harding, whose latest album is a collaboration with Peter Buck from REM. I couldn't be happier for Mr Whitworth, the curmudgeonly old 'light verse' poet from England. He's a master craftsman and a remarkably unique poet, with great range.

The article can be found here: