to Michael Rosen, the Master of Repetition.
I surprised myself and ‘went’ to watch the bookfest event where Michael talked to Dean Atta. I’m very glad I did.
Michael is a born entertainer, albeit now perhaps slightly less vigorous than he was. I’m just so very grateful we still have him. I believe he used to be louder, but I like him like this.
He read some of the poems from the new book with Quentin Blake, talking about the background to his poems. And he talked about his other book about his lost great uncles in France. The two books sort of became one the way Michael talked about his relatives; the ones who survived the war and the ones who didn’t.
We learned how his mother used to tell him off, mixing English with Yiddish. And while we’re on the subject of languages, Michael is also a Master of French. He could have spoken a lot more French. It would have been a pleasure to listen to.
We learned about ‘interiority’, which is learning to see things through someone else’s eyes, by thinking yourself into their situation. He did this with his cousin Michael. The one whose parents sent him away and who therefore survived.
This was such a beautiful event! Michael doesn’t really require any steering, but what steering there was, was done very nicely by Dean.
And we now know he has numb toes. There could be a poem in this. He knows what rhymes with numb…
While not forgetting the bagel sock situation.