Finding any time in which to read or listen to music - other than the music of the show we're doing - has been very difficult over the last three weeks or so. Fortunately the music from The Fantasticks is so good that I haven't felt any great deprivation in that direction. Indeed, I've been carrying all the songs and arrangements around in my head as genuinely welcome ear worms, such that I'm sort of luxuriating in music at the moment. But in the last few days I've managed to listen to a few things outside of my immediate concerns - Kate Bush, White Willow, The Enid, Martin Carthy - and am sort of getting back to my usual diet.
But reading has been a real problem. The only time I've had has been very, very late at night, in the twenty minutes or so before I fall asleep, and I'm not exactly a paragon of alertness at that time. So I've had to compromise with just dipping into a few poems here and there.
For the last three nights the poet of choice has been William Carlos Williams - from the very fine two volume Collected Poems published by New Directions. As a teenager I got hold of the Penguin Selected, and that became a precious text for me. I got to know every poem in it very closely and it was something of a way in for me into American poetry in the general sense. But despite having owned the Collected for a while now I've never managed to get to grips with the full range of Williams with quite the same intensity. The welcome result of this, however, has been to make me feel a wonderful sense of discovery as I dip in and find gems everywhere.
Deprivation has its uses.