Warning: contains a poem

Poems seem to be natural subjects to podcast: they’re generally short and how a poem sounds is just as important as how the words or ordered on a page.  However, podcasting runs into the same problem as posting a poem on a blog in that neither captures the duality at the heart of every poem; that they have to work on the page in and in performance.  Here, then, is a very experimental trial in video casting (a podcast with sight of the words; no image montage or video of poem), an attempt to capture both page and sound.

Miranda’s Warning

Hey Mum, you’ve the right to remain silent
about the time you (quietly) threatened to put me on the shelf
when I wanted the pram’s motion to rock me to sleep
and you wanted to stop and actually pay for groceries

Anything you say can and will be used against you
in my “so famous I only need my first name
despite my unsupportive, inadequate mother”
theme in my future bestselling autobiography

You may have a nutritional expert present
when I blame my eating disorder and body dysmorphia
on your rewarding me with pacifying chocolate
instead of encouraging me to eat my greens

If you cannot afford a lawyer –
having funded my pocket money and your Mother’s day bouquets
– when I sue you for genetic proof you’re my parent:
that’s just tough

You know, Mum, anytime you wish,
you can decide to stay silent and not answer any questions.
Could you consider this really, really carefully,
especially at Parents’ Evenings

Bearing the above in mind, do you still want to talk to me, Mum?

(click on the title to see the whole poem, click on individual stanzas and the poem starts at that stanza)

It’s rare I instantly like a gadget.  I’m warming to Kindle which is still not available in the UK.  Last time it was my mobile phone – I can text, it tells me the name or number of whoever’s phoning me, takes pictures, plays music, has a web browser and is probably due an upgrade.

I did take to the Flip digital video camera.  The downside: it doesn’t use a rechargeable battery.  The upsides:- 

1.   You take the Flip out of the box, put the batteries in and use straightaway;

2.   A very slender instruction booklet – brilliant for people like me who can only do things in concentrated bursts of time and don’t have a solid block of several hours to sit and read a very thick instruction booklet;

3.   Flip is largely intuitive and simple to use – watch through the viewfinder, press record, zoom in or out if required, press record button again to stop, playback;

4.   Playback videos on a TV or computer;

5.   Edit if required and upload to a video sharing site.


I’ve not fully played with all Flip’s editing facilities – you can add music to videos as well – and the picture and sound quality are good enough.  It is not intended for keepsakes and memorable events where you’d use something more substantial and with a thick instruction booklet.  But for short videos uploaded to a social networking site where quality of picture and sound is somewhat reliant on what equipment people are using to view it, Flip’s hard to beat.  And it’s good for video casting poems and that’s a major plus.

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