I was driving from Brisbane to the Hunter Valley for business a few weeks back when the Sydney Writers festival was on. Radio National, my favourite radio in the world to travel with, introduced this young girl Kate Tempest from London. I just happened to pull up to road works in the middle of the sticks, when they bought Kate on reciting Brand New Ancients.
The first line caught me, hook, line and sinker. The emotions in me welled over and she begins to fill my whole being with her words that resonate a truth in me. Her cockney voice, with a slight sassy sarcastic note, stained with a hint of pleading so to hear her words were reverberating through me, in me, around me. I was sucked into a vortex losing all sense and time.
In front of the Stop-Go Man, I was crying, wiping the tears and trying to pull myself together by shoving liquorice in my mouth to stop me sobbing. It’s either sob or choke! Poor bloke was looking over at me and I smiled at him and then we have this awkwardness because then I realised I most probably had black teeth!
Anyway, I have never found a poem that meant so much to me, that had meaning that I could connect with and believe that we are the Brand New Ancients! If you look on YouTube you will find the Lovely Kate bellowing out this and more of her exceptional works.
Give it the time it deserves and hear the words.