Diane Padgett’s red nose

This photo is of my friend Diane Padgett is from the Construction News site.

Diane has a study which overlooks the South Thames construction site in London. Recently having attended a course by the poet John Hegley, Diane told me that one day she decided to pen a poem about the driver of the crane she found herself watching every day.

Most people would have left it at that. What really impresses me about Diane, however, is that she approached the company, BAM, to ask them if she could read her poem to the crane’s driver on Red Nose Day. BAM readily agreed, and after she done a reading of her poem, she was then hoist into the sky (rather her than me). Here’s coverage on the BAM site.

Not only did she – quite literally – raise her profile as a writer, being photographed in a cradle high above London, but she also helped to raise money well into four figures for the good causes supported by Red Nose Day. And quite rightly BAM received positive publicity too. Everyone wins. Simple but brilliant.

WH Auden famously wrote in his poem In Memory of WB Yeats “For poetry makes nothing happen”. This is something I have never agreed with. Diane made something happen with her poem, by working out how to use it to create an interesting event that generated money for good causes.

Diane’s poem…

My Lofty Friend

I watch him from my window
All day long – my hero!
Remote, aloof, remaining
Even when it’s raining.

I see him from my study
And wish he was my buddy.
His jib is cut precisely,
He swings it, oh, so nicely
In arcs almost balletic.
He’s just so, oh – kinetic.

But way too far above me.
How can I make him love me?
I’d signal, wave a banner,
Go out and buy a spanner –

Or lob him a hot dinner?
That might be a winner.
It’s all so very tiresome.
I could go out and hire some
Enormous blooming ladder.
Could anything be sadder?

A girl can get impatient
While gazing from her casement.
Oh, come down to my level
You manipulative devil.

About Peter Kenny

I lead a double life. Identity #1. A writer of poems, plays, libretti, prose, journalism and so on. Identity #2: A marketing outlier, working with London creative agencies and my own clients as a copywriter and creative consultant.
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