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21/05/2011

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 21 May 2011

Richard Coles with historian Amanda Foreman, poet Murray Lachlan Young, a man whose father was a high-ranking official in the Ku Klux Klan, and a torch-bearer at the 1948 Olympics. There's a Sound Sculpture about jackals in India and best-selling author Iain Banks shares his Inheritance Tracks.

  • STUDIO GUEST :: AMANDA FOREMAN

    STUDIO GUEST :: AMANDA FOREMAN

    Historian Amanda Foreman is our guest this week.

    'A World On Fire' is published by Allen Lane.

    Amanda Foreman
  • KU KLUX KLAN :: LELAND BOYD

    KU KLUX KLAN :: LELAND BOYD

    Leland Boyd’s father was a high ranking official in the Ku Klux Klan.

  • OLYMPIC TORCH :: FRANK VERGE

    OLYMPIC TORCH :: FRANK VERGE

    Frank Verge was a torch bearer at the 1948 London Olympics.

  • SOUND SCULPTURE :: JACKALS

    SOUND SCULPTURE :: JACKALS

    Constance Halford-Thompson recalls the bedtime chorus of jackals from her childhood in India.

  • INHERITANCE TRACKS :: IAIN BANKS

    INHERITANCE TRACKS :: IAIN BANKS

    Author Iain Banks chose 'Shenandoah' by Paul Robeson and 'For A Dancer' by Jackson Browne.

    'Surface Detail' is published by Orbit.

    Iain Banks
  • POET :: MURRAY LACHLAN YOUNG

    POET :: MURRAY LACHLAN YOUNG

    Murray Lachlan Young is a stand up poet, playwright and satirist.

    Murray Lachlan Young
  • POEM :: AN EARLY CUT

    Entwined with sweetest spring perfume
    The Elder meets the Hawthorn bloom

    With swelling virtuosity
    Sweet sap runs ready through the tree

    Hid deep within, the frond is thrust
    To swallow swoop in teaming dusk

    Bright early hay great bailers bind
    Whilst endless summer s fills the mind

    No thought for rain filled harvest grey
    Ah yes, the merry month of May

  • POEM :: Today and Yesterday

    Today the 21st of May
    For, that is what we call today
    And this, like any other day
    Will soon be known as yesterday

    And after that the day before
    And further on and several more
    And then last week and month and year
    To gradually disappear

    Into fuzzy mists of time
    And further in the slow decline
    Conglomerations will be made
    Of swathes of years into decades

    And on to groups of centuries
    Contained in weighty histories
    Where groups of names that held the sway
    Considered relevant today

    Will chart a course from where we’ve been
    The Heroes and the kings and queens
    Where General Lee goes hand in hand
    Lakota Sioux with Klux Klan

    Al Qaida and the Taliban
    The hoodie and the Morris man
    Tantric to merrie Quaker
    Chav to Goth to undertaker

    Fisher, dogger, German bight
    Butcher baker, solstice night
    With all of us and our today’s
    In turn will turn and march away
    Into a newer yesterday

    And on until its all eventually
    The whole thing turns to history
    And no one’s left to read or know
    Or look or listen tell or show

    And all is quite and all is still
    And there are no more books to fill
    Not even land or sky or sea
    Just universal harmony

    But I see just one tiny hole
    So I’ll ask the reverend Richard Coles

    Richard, Just how will the universe survive?
    Without its weekly Saturday live

    Through mighty deeds they’ve said and done
    With pen and sword and word and gun

    The moon the sun the clouds and sky
    The lions roar the jackal’s cry

    Into the void will duly fly
    The atheist’s word
    The movie stars and the dodo bird

    And individual names will rise
    On plinths of statues hollow eyed

    Will watch the future fast unfold
    And see their once decisive hold
    Decrease in its capacity

    And change in many different ways
    Inhabiting the olden days
    It might be found
    In things they find beneath the ground

    Today this poem was born

    We sit in and play separate parts

    This a little spinning globe

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