ABOUT THIS EPISODE
We have conversations with individuals about a poem that has been a friend to them. In exchange we make them a gift: a unique recording of their chosen poem, inspired by the conversation and their thoughts and feelings about the poem.
The Poetry Exchange takes place in a range of venues and settings, featuring public visitors and special guests.
In this episode of our podcast, you will hear Peter talking about the poem that has been a friend to him: 'Continuous' by Tony Harrison.
We are delighted to feature 'Continuous' in this episode and would like to thank both Faber & Faber and Tony Harrison for granting us permission to use his poem in this way. Do visit them for further inspiration and to find out more about Tony and his work:
Peter visited The Poetry Exchange at BALTIC Contemporary Arts Centre in Gateshead, as part of the Raising The Flag Event. We’re very grateful to BALTIC for hosting The Poetry Exchange so warmly. Discover more about their work and their fascinating programme of events:
Peter is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members, John Prebble and Degna Stone.
'Continuous' is read by John Prebble.
By Tony Harrison
James Cagney was the one up both our streets.
His was the only art we ever shared.
A gangster film and choc ice were the treats
that showed about as much love as he dared.
He’d be my own age now in ’49!
The hand that glinted with the ring he wore,
his father’s, tipped the cold bar into mine
just as the organist dropped through the floor.
He’s on the platform lowered out of sight
to organ music, this time on looped tape,
into a furnace with a blinding light
where only his father’s ring will keep its shape.
I wear it now to Cagney’s on my own
And sense my father’s hands cupped round my treat –
they feel as though they’ve been chilled to the bone
from holding my ice cream all through White Heat.
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