Poetry In Space/Poet’s Former Home Plans/Homer Meets Homer – Poetry News Roundup March 22nd

Today we take a look at poetry in space, the plans for the former home of a poet and the unusual statue which combines a cartoon with a poet.

Poetry in Space

A Zoom call recently took place between a cosmonaut on the International Space Station (ISS) and a professor at the University of York. The subject was poetry, in particular the works of Mikhail Lermontov.

Sergey Ryzhikov joined the call to read aloud some of the poet’s work from space as part of an analysis into the works of Lermontov that was under discussion at the university.  Discussing the call, Dr O’Rourke said it was amazing just how clearly they could hear him.

The project was part of a seminar that was organised by the Pushkin Institute, which is based in Moscow, ROSCOSMOS State Space Corporation and the library of the Moscow region governorate. Poetry and the cosmos were the themes of the seminar and Dr O’Rourke was amazed, but delighted, that they were able to get someone in the space agency to find them some help., however, seeing the cosmonaut on camera was not something that he was expecting and he likened it to seeing Commander Sisko in Deep Space Nine!

The exchange online took place for about 20 minutes, whilst the space station was over South America heading towards the South Atlantic Ocean.

Buddhist Retreat Plans for Poets Former Home

Alfoxton Park Hotel in Somerset, which was the home of the poet William Wordsworth in 1797, has been empty for the last 15 years. The country house which has recently been used as a hotel is currently on the Historic England’s “at-risk” register.

In 2020, the Alfoxton Park Trust paid £1.4m for the property which is where Wordsworth worked will fellow poet Samuel Coleridge. They purchased the property with the intention of creating a retreat for the Triratna community, with the Grade II part of the building becoming the main retreat whilst the coach house which is in the grounds of the park will become a permanent residential community. The Tritatna Buddhist charity already owns 8 other properties in the UK which are all thriving.

It was at Alfoxton Park that Wordsworth penned “Daffodils” and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Coleridge was first read out in public.

The building has been in considerable disrepair since it was closed in the mid-2000s and will need to have a considerable amount of money spent on it in order to become habitable once again. It is hoped that the council will make a decision in favour of the new use of the building later this year so that work can begin to make them great again.

When Homer Met Homer

An art installation titled “Homer Down Under” has appeared on a beach in Western Australia. The five-meter-tall sculpture, which is inflatable is a mixture that is part Homer, the Greek poet, and part Homer Simpson of “The Simpsons” fame.

This is not the first time that the statue has made an appearance. It is the work of a European artist and was last seen in December 2020. The sculpture fuses the bulbous yellow head of Homer Simpson onto Homer the poet’s fierce bearded chin.

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