Justice 4 ALL Madeleine McCann Family
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Poem for Madeleine.

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Poem for Madeleine.

Post by vee8 on Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:16 am

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/poetry/article7003617.ece

The Beacon
Dusk, doubt, the growing depth of an evening sky,
dark setting in as it did that night,
the forever vastness of outer space
reflecting the emptiness here inside,
shadowing, colouring, clouding the mind.
But somewhere out there there has to be life,
the distance only a matter of time,
a world like our own, its markings and shades
as uniquely formed as a daughter’s eye,
distinctly flecked, undeniably hers,
looking back this way through the miles and years
to a lantern cupping a golden blaze,
its candle alive with a fierce blonde flame
for the thousandth time, for as long as it takes.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 003682.ece

From The Times
January 27, 2010
1,000 days after disappearance, Madeleine McCann inspires Armitage poem
Valentine Low

*

One thousand days after she disappeared, Madeleine McCann has inspired a poem by Simon Armitage, the writer widely regarded as the runner-up for last year’s poet laureateship.

The Beacon is published in times2 today. A handwritten copy will be auctioned tonight to raise funds for the McCanns’ campaign.

It is not the first time that Armitage has composed verses about events that impinge strongly on the public consciousness. He wrote a poem for the fifth anniversary of 9/11, while his other works include a commission for the 60th anniversary of VE-Day and Killing Time, a poem celebrating the millennium.

Armitage accepted the commission, which came via Emma Loach, a director who worked with Gerry and Kate McCann on a television documentary and is a friend of Armitage, after he met the couple at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire. “We talked about the night Madeleine went missing, those terrible hours of darkness before they could resume the search,” he said.
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Madeleine, then aged 3, disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007. Despite extensive publicity and a number of unconfirmed claimed sightings, the Portuguese police have come no closer to finding out what happened to her.

“On my part, like a lot of people, it’s something that, right from the beginning, I felt moved by,” said Armitage said. The poem draws on the imagery of the photograph of Madeleine in the missing poster and the candle that her parents keep burning in a lantern in their village square.

With the line “Somewhere out there there has to be life”, the poem reflects the McCanns’ hope that , in the absence of any solid evidence to the contrary, their daughter may still be alive.

“They have hope and that’s what keeps them going,” said Armitage said. “For as long as that’s the case they have a parent’s duty and it’s their fierce desire to keep looking for her.”

As part of events to mark the 1,000 days since the disappearance, supporters of the McCanns in Britain, Portugal and the US will today launch 1,000 glowing paper lanterns into the night sky.

The couple will also attend a £150-a-head dinner fundraising event at Kensington Roof Gardens, in west London. It is understood that those invited include Sir Richard Branson, who owns the venue, J.K. Rowling and the couple’s millionaire backer Brian Kennedy. The McCanns have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on private detectives to continue the search for their daughter.

Half the money raised will go to the McCanns’ fund to finance the search for Madeleine and the rest will be split between the charities Missing People and Missing Children Europe.



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vee8
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Re: Poem for Madeleine.

Post by vee8 on Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:59 pm

From The Times
January 27, 2010
A poem for Madeleine
Simon Armitage has combined personal and universal themes in the work he created at the request of Kate and Gerry McCann
CANDLES AND A PICTURE OF MADELEINE McCANN AT THE CHURCH IN PRAIA DA LUZ
Penny Wark

*

Recommend?

At first Simon Armitage wasn’t sure what to make of the request. Would he consider writing a poem to mark the thousand days since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

He felt awkward, he explains. “I said I didn’t think I could do it. You know, the difficulty of writing something that would need to be quite intimate and not wanting to poke around in their grief and intrude. Then we talked about it a little more.”

The request came from the director Emma Loach, who worked with Gerry and Kate McCann on a television documentary last year and is also a friend of Armitage. Would he at least meet Kate McCann, she suggested? He agreed. “I thought that was probably the only way of doing it. I wanted to make sure that they were on board.”

And so the Yorkshire-based poet, a strong contender for the poet laureate appointment last year, met Kate McCann at the family’s home in Rothley, Leicestershire. As they talked, Armitage came to understand the McCanns’ motivation, and how he might be able to help.
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* How words make sense of the world

* How poets see modern life

* Simon Armitage's Madeleine McCann poem

“They want to keep Madeleine alive in lots of different ways,” he says. “They want to keep the search for her alive. I think also they want to do things for her as any parent would. On my part, like a lot of people, it’s something that right from the beginning I felt moved by.

“To function as a poet you’ve got to have a certain amount of detachment. But to make the poem work for the McCanns, and for it to be meaningful as a piece of writing, you need to know what they think and to have a bit more of a feeling for it. One of the things I talked to Kate about was how difficult it must be to keep out that fear and that doubt and darkness. We talked about the night Madeleine went missing, those terrible hours of darkness before it became light again and they could resume the search. It was like meeting in the middle.”

He asked for some details to inform his poemand in response Gerry and Katewrote him a couple of pages about Madeleine, their thoughts and feelings. Through that, Armitage learnt of the candle they keep burning in a lantern in their village square.

“That’s how it works with a poem sometimes, just one little thing. I’d been looking at the photograph that was used of Madeleine in the campaign, where you can see the fleck in her eye. I found myself thinking about Jupiter. If you look at Jupiter there’s something bottom left that they call the great red spot. It’s an anticyclone thousands of miles across that looks like a little eye to us, like a fleck in the planet’s face. Then I started thinking, is there life out there?

“That became the conceit for the poem, looking out for signs of life and the idea of keeping a light burning here for life looking back this way. The McCanns are optimistic, I think you can call that optimism hope. They have hope and that’s what keeps them going. One thing Kate will say is that they don’t have any concrete evidence to say that she’s dead. For as long as that’s the case, they have a parent’s duty and it’s their fierce desire to keep looking for her. And they have faith, they are strong Roman Catholics. That sense of lighting a candle, saying a prayer, keeping hope burning — I was trying to tap into that as well.”

The result, a sonnet, was also informed by his own experience of being the father of a ten-year-old daughter, Armitage acknowledges. “Parents can identify with the McCanns losing something that is your whole world, around which things orbit. For most of us it’s an unimaginable loss. That’s one of the reasons that their story is so powerful.”

The McCanns have described the poem as “beautiful” and have told Armitage that it captures many of their feelings and the issues around the loss of their daughter.

Armitage responds by saying that this is what he does. His ability to write with intimacy and yet without intruding is partly because he is no stranger to writing about topical and sensitive events. His poem Out of the Blue was a response to the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

He has given the McCanns a handwritten copy of this poem that will be auctioned tonight at an event to raise funds for their campaign. He will also sign over the copyright to them. “They can do whatever they want with it,” he says. “This is my way of trying to do something.”
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