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FEATURE: Costa Blanca - Book of Wonders

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 UKC Articles 19 Feb 2020
A party on Costa Blanca (6c+) on the Peñón. Sarah-Jane Dobner reflects on a sun-rock trip to Costa Blanca...

Costa Blanca is my happy place. A refuge in winter, holiday in summer. Gorgeous, positive, pocketed rock. Brilliant trad and fantastic sport. A generous, safe, welcoming region of cafés and sea and flavoursome tomatoes. Small wonder I come here year after year. As so many of us do.



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25
In reply to UKC Articles:

Wow.

Favourite lines include "sour fruity balls" and "...an essential like the Bible."

2
 neuromancer 20 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

This reminds me a lot of those poetry anthologies that you used to get 'published' in when you were in primary school - with parents beholden to buy a copy for the shelf, never to be read, purely because their child was in it.
 

Come to think of it, so do all of SJD's articles.

9
 treesrockice 20 Feb 2020
In reply to neuromancer:

> This reminds me a lot of those poetry anthologies that you used to get 'published' in when you were in primary school - with parents beholden to buy a copy for the shelf, never to be read, purely because their child was in it.

> Come to think of it, so do all of SJD's articles.

But Dob's a poet,
Don't ya know it?
And a climber,
Gota show it.
I don't read it,
as I don't need it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIibX2ww6zA&

6
 jezb1 20 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

I don’t think I’m clever enough for this kind of publication ‘cos I just don’t get anything at all from it.

4
In reply to UKC Articles:

Reminiscent of the earlier work of the great Eric Jarvis Thribb.

3
 Mick B 20 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Reminiscent of the earlier work of the great Eric Jarvis Thribb.

Particularly enjoyed the work he produced when he was around, erm, 17 and 1/2 ish.

2
In reply to UKC Articles:

Lots of good climbing and scrambling but as a place?  I prefer Catalunya...I might pay homage to it sometime ;-) 

 flour 21 Feb 2020
In reply to jezb1:

Really? Nothing. You climb in Spain on a regular basis but none of her poems resonated? Not a single line or word, not even a glimmer of recognition.

Sad really that tough no nonsense climbers have no time for anything more ethereal. 

Or maybe you are just hitching a ride with the bandwagon of haters that seem to pop up on UKC

Sorry to pick on you when probably it is the lack of respect from other posters that annoys me more

19
 jezb1 21 Feb 2020
In reply to flour:

Don't worry I don't feel picked on!

It's the style really, doesn't click with me at all, it's just a complete turn off. Different strokes for different folks and all that, I'm sure many others enjoyed it.

Nothing to do with any bandwagon riding.

1
 flour 21 Feb 2020
In reply to jezb1:

Have a like!

In reply to flour:

In The Totem Pole, the great Paul Pritchard wrote, "It's a bit like reading poetry, soloing is." Perhaps all the anonymous dislikers really don't want to get out of their comfort zones. I admire the author for publishing this so soon after the unpleasantness of some of the criticism of her last article.

5
 neuromancer 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Out of interest, how would you tell the difference between someone who was uncomfortable outside of their comfort zone of regular broadcasting, and someone who had made their own critical analysis of the item on its own merit, but who wasn't a paid-up member of your intellectual zeitgeist?

In this case, I'm for the judicious application of ockham's razor.

Post edited at 06:49
4
In reply to neuromancer:

> Out of interest, how would you tell the difference between someone who was uncomfortable outside of their comfort zone of regular broadcasting, and someone who had made their own critical analysis of the item on its own merit, but who wasn't a paid-up member of your intellectual zeitgeist?

> In this case, I'm for the judicious application of ockham's razor.

Your response didn't strike me as a critical analysis though - but rather an unnecessarily unpleasant put-down. Whatever the literary merits of this work, dismissing it as childish is uncalled-for. I have no idea what intellectual zeitgeist you have in mind. 

2
 SenzuBean 22 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Are these even poems,
Title and double spaces,
So I read no more.

1
In reply to SenzuBean:

One syllable less

A perfect haiku beckoned 

The lone crane flies north

1
 SenzuBean 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

A pome or po-em?
It depends where you come from
Cat climbs up curtain
 

1
In reply to SenzuBean:

Or there's elision

E'en though o'er rhetorical

A quick verbal crimp

Deadeye 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> One syllable less

> A perfect haiku beckoned 

> The lone crane flies north

Are these even poems,
Title and double spaced,
So I read no more.

Fixed

In reply to Deadeye:

> Are these even poems,

> Title and double spaced,

> So I read no more.

> Fixed

Five syllables first

Seven syllables second

It still needs some work

In reply to UKC Articles:

It's boring to see that the same predictable criticisms are wheeled out by a section of the "UKC massive" as soon as something like this comes out. Poetry isn't for everyone, but if it isn't for you go read something you can connect with. I found some of Ed Ward-Drummond's poetry rather a turn off, whilst some of his other stuff was really good. I guess what irks me here are the personal attacks, the playground rhetoric and a nagging feeling that if it was a bloke producing this poetry the criticism would be rather different, if there was any at all.

The sort of binary thinking & simplistic criticism on display here says more about those posting it than the poet. Publishing anything is rather a challenge, especially when it is open to such scrutiny and as such it's always a bold move.

8
 C Witter 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> It's boring to see that the same predictable criticisms are wheeled out by a section of the "UKC massive" as soon as something like this comes out. Poetry isn't for everyone, but if it isn't for you go read something you can connect with.

I'm not surprised people are turned off by puffed-up middle-class holiday exoticism with dodgy metre, erratic line breaks and tiresome metaphors. I think it's great that UKC wants to publish more literary pieces. Unfortunately, though, they need an editor who is prepared to find writing worth publishing and who is able to edit these pieces into shape - or at least to remove the grammar errors. The recent Crag Notes series has also been consistently dire - which is a shame, because it's a good idea.

6
 StuPoo2 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> I guess what irks ... a nagging feeling that if it was a bloke producing this poetry the criticism would be rather different, if there was any at all.

This needs testing Frank!!

Might be a helpful experiment.  If, as you suggest, it gets "no response at all", then you would presumably be right - UKC forums are inherently hostile towards female posters.   Alternatively if it is in fact the content rather than the gender of the author that is generating the responses then we would expect to see a similar levels of down voting on a poetry article from a male.

(Before anyone starts - we all know this isn't a "scientific" study.  We know there will be no double-blind or control group or degendering etc ...)

For transparency purposes ... my hunch is that it it is probably the content.  But I do agree with you Frank .. the attacking style with which the criticism comes in the forums makes it very easy to draw a line towards sexism.

@Nat ... Could we have a similar style poetry piece from a male please?

In reply to C Witter:

> The recent Crag Notes series has also been consistently dire - which is a shame, because it's a good idea.

I'm surprised by your sweeping dismissal of this series, which I feel has provided some enjoyable reading. The standard may be variable, but generally I think it's as good or better than I'd expect from voluntary contributions to a hobbyist website. I certainly wouldn't adopt such a trenchant approach to the magazines or websites of the climbing clubs of which I'm a member. Mind you, Milton could post on UKC and some smartarse would complain that his verbs were in the wrong place.

2
 tobyk 24 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

I really liked this! Makes me want to go back (got back yesterday)

 C Witter 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

You're right - I'm probably being too harsh. But, there is a tendency within the series to collect pieces with 'flowery' language above all else. And a lot of the more 'literary' conceits in these pieces are embarrassing in the first instance and affected in the second. Just take the first line of the series:

'Sea cliffs are special places, but fewer shine quite so bright in the late August light like The Diamond.'

Even excusing the two grammar errors, the attempts to work rhyme into the article are cringe-worthy and, having read the line, you realise it doesn't actually say very much. Sea cliffs are great, and the Diamond is really great - especially in summer.

No big deal, except it continues throughout the piece and that this becomes the touchstone for the rest of the series.
 

1
In reply to C Witter:

> I'm not surprised people are turned off by puffed-up middle-class holiday exoticism with dodgy metre, erratic line breaks and tiresome metaphors.

If we weren't all so utterly middle class we'd perhaps get some working class poetry on here. Or is it upper class poetry you would prefer? Either way, our poetry is a product of our experiences and middle class people like us should be allowed to write poems too. It's not all about gritty northern realism with whippets, kestrels and gritstone jamming apprenticeships.

3
 barry donovan 06 Mar 2020
In reply to Frank the Husky:

‘Publish and be damned’ - put it out there and face the rest - or read it to yourself on the long winter nights ? 

I preferred ‘lambs and rockets’ which could turn into the anthem of UKC. 

Bring back Hlimm - spontaneous heartfelt and . . . Authentic 

. . . ‘Cya stop it be safe’.  

 Annabel Tall 06 Mar 2020
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Put to music?

Along the lines of Bill Bailey’s

tribute to Billy Bragg

Chip shop

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1_uEbGJtnY&


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