Vatican Poet made Cardinal/Scrap Shop Poetry Find/Blake Exhibition – Poetry News Roundup September 10th

Today our poetry news roundup looks at the Vatican archivist and poet who is to be made a cardinal, the discovery of a poet’s handwritten notes in a scrap shop and the William Blake exhibition at the Tate Britain.

Award-Winning Poet and Vatican Archivist Made a Cardinal

Jose Tolentino Calaca de Mendonca, an archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives was confirmed as a Cardinal-designate by Pope Francis on 1st September.

The Cardinal-designate, who is 53 years old, was celebrating Mass in Lisbon in a small chapel at the time and was given the news by others who had heard it. De Mendonca currently serves the Vatican in the capacity of Vatican librarian and archivist and was one of 13 prelates from all over the world who have been named as new cardinals.

De Mendonca was born on the island of Madeira in 1965. He became a priest in 1990. His first poetry collection “Os Dias Contados” (The Days Counted) was published in the same year.

Handwritten Notes by Poet and Lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi Found in Scrap Shop

A stunning discovery was made at the end of last week when a selection of priceless diaries, handwritten letters, black and white photos and more relating to Sahir Ludhiavi the legendary Urdu lyricist and poet were in a Mumbai scrap shop. They were purchased for the sum of Rs 3,000 by an NGO so that they can be preserved.

The items were found by Film Heritage Foundation, a Mumbai-based non-profit NGO. They were amongst a pile of magazines and newspapers. The plan is for the paperwork to be preserved and then put up for exhibition.

With details of the poet’s daily outlines, the diaries offer a unique insight into his life, how he wrote and his thoughts on several topics. The letters, some in English and the rest in Urdu, were sent between the poet and several prominent people of the time, including music composers.

The photographs are of the poet, his family and friends and of his house in Punjab. Experts are taking a careful look at the poems, as it seems that some of them have never been published before.

The Foundation is now hoping to restore these important archive items which will then be digitalised in order to preserve them for future generations. Experts who have looked at the items believe them to be a very significant find. The handwritten letters and notes may well carry much value and would be important to researchers in helping them learn more about the poet.

William Blake Exhibition at Tate Britain

The largest collection of work by the poet and painter William Blake is to be exhibited at Tate Britain this autumn. The collection should shed some new light on the wide range of his imagination.

300 pieces of work by Blake, which have rarely been seen before, will be displayed under the title “William Blake”.

During his life, Blake was a firm believer in the important role that art played in society. His works, ranging from paintings to watercolours were influenced by the political struggled that took place at the time.

The exhibition will also look at the influence that Blake’s wife Catherine had on his work. It is widely acknowledged that over the years she was involved in the production of her husbands’ engravings.

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