distracted by lines of poetry and pretty shoes.


we are Meant to be Working.


Tasks To Do.

(nice ones. but sometimes one just wants to go next door and lie down and read because there’s a Delicious pile of books by the bed. you know how it is.)

but just wanted to share something we came across while surfing-the-interweb working.

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

W.B. Yeats


isn’t that divine?

someone (many moons ago) once gave us a palest pink scent bottle with a translucent glass stopper in it with the last line engraved in tiny gold script as a gift.

no idea what happened to it……

or them.

but such is the ephemeral nature of gifts and exchanges and experiences……


we had a lovely business-yet-pleasurable breakfast this morning with someone who had shoes like those perhaps worn by Scheherazade.


the kind people at Project Gutenberg have made the whole story (or the thousand and one nights of them) available here.

will you indulge us with one more poetic reference?

when we walked to our breakfast this morning the birds were singing boldly in the trees and our hands brushed on lavender plants which always makes us think of another poet – this time Keats (and you know we adore Keats).

tt0810784Bright Star
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art —
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors —
No — yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft swell and fall,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death.


the interweb is Awfully distracting isn’t it?

back to the Work at hand, darlings.

but just in CASE we need to come and check in with you and find out what your favo(u)rite lines of poetry (or movies about Poets) are – would you let us know?

we truly appreciate you stopping by.




grown-up attention span required again.


perhaps we need a walk mid-afternoon – with the Grown Up Camera……..

keats_letters_pullquote_1 one more?

of course *smilesIndulgently*

glad you’re still reading……..

do you remember when we had to chose to conform and wear a ballgown to an Establishment Event? 

we thought of nothing less than Larkin and Whitsun Weddings and it gave comfort (when the ballet shoes rubbed a little at the ankle being an unfamiliar covering on our feet therein).

so we end with Larkin.

Whitsun Weddings – Philip Larkin

That Whitsun, I was late getting away:
Not till about
One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday
Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out,
All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense
Of being in a hurry gone. We ran
Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence
The river’s level drifting breadth began,
Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet.

All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept
For miles inland,
A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept.
Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and
Canals with floatings of industrial froth;
A hothouse flashed uniquely: hedges dipped
And rose: and now and then a smell of grass
Displaced the reek of buttoned carriage-cloth
Until the next town, new and nondescript,
Approached with acres of dismantled cars.

At first, I didn’t notice what a noise
The weddings made
Each station that we stopped at: sun destroys
The interest of what’s happening in the shade,
And down the long cool platforms whoops and skirls
I took for porters larking with the mails,
And went on reading. Once we started, though,
We passed them, grinning and pomaded, girls
In parodies of fashion, heels and veils,
All posed irresolutely, watching us go,

As if out on the end of an event
Waving goodbye
To something that survived it. Struck, I leant
More promptly out next time, more curiously,
And saw it all again in different terms:
The fathers with broad belts under their suits
And seamy foreheads; mothers loud and fat;
An uncle shouting smut; and then the perms,
The nylon gloves and jewellery-substitutes,
The lemons, mauves, and olive-ochres that

Marked off the girls unreally from the rest.
Yes, from cafés
And banquet-halls up yards, and bunting-dressed
Coach-party annexes, the wedding-days
Were coming to an end. All down the line
Fresh couples climbed aboard: the rest stood round;
The last confetti and advice were thrown,
And, as we moved, each face seemed to define
Just what it saw departing: children frowned
At something dull; fathers had never known

Success so huge and wholly farcical;
The women shared
The secret like a happy funeral;
While girls, gripping their handbags tighter, stared
At a religious wounding. Free at last,
And loaded with the sum of all they saw,
We hurried towards London, shuffling gouts of steam.
Now fields were building-plots, and poplars cast
Long shadows over major roads, and for
Some fifty minutes, that in time would seem

Just long enough to settle hats and say
I nearly died,
A dozen marriages got under way.
They watched the landscape, sitting side by side
—An Odeon went past, a cooling tower,
And someone running up to bowl—and none
Thought of the others they would never meet
Or how their lives would all contain this hour.
I thought of London spread out in the sun,
Its postal districts packed like squares of wheat:

There we were aimed. And as we raced across
Bright knots of rail
Past standing Pullmans, walls of blackened moss
Came close, and it was nearly done, this frail
Travelling coincidence; and what it held
Stood ready to be loosed with all the power
That being changed can give. We slowed again,
And as the tightened brakes took hold, there swelled
A sense of falling, like an arrow-shower
Sent out of sight, somewhere becoming rain.
Philip Larkin, “The Whitsun Weddings” from Collected Poems. Used by permission of The Society of Authors as the Literary Representative of the Estate of Phillip Larkin.

Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux)

and now we Promise to get back to Work.

but only if You promise to leave us some poetry lines (your own would be delicious and very clever indeed) in the comment fields below.



and now *concentratingVeryHard*

back. to. work.


28 thoughts on “distracted by lines of poetry and pretty shoes.

  1. Much Madness is divinest Sense —
    To a discerning Eye —
    Much Sense — the starkest Madness —
    ‘Tis the Majority
    In this, as All, prevail —
    Assent — and you are sane —
    Demur — you’re straightway dangerous —
    And handled with a Chain —

    Emily Dickinson

  2. what could be better than poetry and pretty pumps?

    So many gorgeous lines from so many amazing poets… and yet I return to some over and over, first read 25+ years ago… Marge Piercy’s “The Meaningful Exchange,” Neruda’s “Emerging,” so many others…

  3. Can you begin to imagine how incredibly lovely it was to read all of this just before falling off to sleep? My dreams will be the better for it. And you surprised me with my favorite Yeats poem (for I love Yeats as you love Keats, although who doesn’t love “Bright Star”?) so much that it brought a well of happy teariness to my eyes. Brush them off on my pillow. Do you remember the end of the intro of the article that I wrote about the Khampas? :) And more tomorrow as I have at least one to share…Rilke.
    Bonne Nuit!

    PS. My goodness I sense a RL business brewing between you and notausgang…

    1. do come back tomorrow and Quote Rilke, please!

      ps: tis strange and wonderful – just as we have said before – to find each other as we all have here and there and beyond.

      1. Here we go dear one:


        Everything is far
        and long gone by.
        I think that the star
        glittering above me
        has been dead for a million years.
        I think there were tears
        in the car I heard pass
        and something terrible was said.
        A clock has stopped striking in the house
        across the road…
        When did it start?…
        I would like to step out of my heart
        and go walking beneath the enormous sky.
        I would like to pray.
        And surely of all the stars that perished
        long ago,
        one still exists.
        I think that I know
        which one it is–
        which one, at the end of its beam in the sky,
        stands like a white city…

        –Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Book of Pictures”

          1. I thought that you might like that. Or at least parts of it.
            I have a new question for you: how many books do you have on your desk? :)

            And ps. Upon closer inspection, your friends pumps might well be from one of my favorite Prada collections from gosh, a few years back, with all of the gold brocade.

  4. ooooh, beautiful poems. and beautiful event description that you’ve linked to. it occures to me that we probably could’ve worked together on a geeky&glossy project and totally rocked it. I think we’d have established one hell of a dresscode too (“what is that? heels? where are your docs?”)… :D

    oh, and apart from Kipling :) there are Stefan George, Hugo von Hofmansthal, good ol’ Baudelaire, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Lermontov, Pushkin obviously, Goethe… and today’s best poetry comes from songwriters – Cohen, Bowie – I don’t like shapeless poetry.

    1. *sighs*

      we adore new data.

      stefan george is a new voice to us.

      found this.

      Come to the park they say is dead, and view
      The shimmer of the smiling shores beyond,
      The stainless clouds with unexpected blue
      Diffuse a light on motley path and pond.
      The tender grey, the burning yellow seize
      Of birch and boxwood, mellow is the breeze.
      Not wholly do the tardy roses wane,
      So kiss and gather them and wreathe the chain.

      The purple on the twists of wilding vine,
      The last of asters you shall not forget,
      And what of living verdure lingers yet,
      Around the autumn vision lightly twine.
      Stefan Anton George


      1. yes, “komm in den totgesagten park und schau” – a beautiful translation.
        george translated baudelaire divinely… sadly, I can’t find my most favourite george in english, properly translated. “you slim and pure just like a flame” – the rest of the translation’s lame :/

          1. *applauds*

            we had this beautiful exhibition Melancholia in berlin about 6 years ago. I believe it maybe even was MoMa’s? it was the most exhausting and beautiful art exhibition I’ve ever been to.

            As with George, I should try what I can cook… Maybe so:

            You’re slim and pure like flames and blazes
            You’re like the morning soft and fair
            Burgeoning rice from trunks so precious
            You’re like a well occult and bare
            (Wow, I have a go… will try and finish the whole poem now. geek once, geek always…)

              1. enjoy the swim and the LA sun :) I finished the poem, listened to a serendipitous music from my twitter timeline – and am now off to bed, quite content.

      1. who knows what tomorrow brings! yet my thoughts genuinely swirled around your work experience and my editorially-advertorial past with geeky tech stuff – with so many variations yet still some similarities. amazing.

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