almost autumn.

darlings

we had a day of autumn here yesterday!

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it was most exciting.

not an Entire Day, actually – because it was over by lunchtime, of course, when the sun finally came out.

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but enough fruit-falling-feeling to herald a moment of Philip Larkin which we found here. 

And now the leaves suddenly lose strength.
Decaying towers stand still, lurid, lanes-long,
And seen from landing windows, or the length
Of gardens, rubricate afternoons. New strong
Rain-bearing night-winds come: then
Leaves chase warm buses, speckle statued air,
Pile up in corners, fetch out vague broomed men
Through mists at morning.

And no matter where goes down,
The sallow lapsing drift in fields
Or squares behind hoardings, all men hesitate
Separately, always, seeing another year gone –
Frockcoated gentleman, farmer at his gate,
Villein with mattock, soldiers on their shields,
All silent, watching the winter coming on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand, quite naturally, a reflective Feeling gives rise to a little Keats:

Ode To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cell.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats

and again, this morning, it was a slightly chilly start to the day and rather lovely as a consequence of waking early and spending a few moments just looking out of the window.

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before getting down to work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhat’s the weather doing in your part of the world?

we note from the world-of-instagram that the sun is already faint over Berlin (both the metaphorical place that is forever Berlin and there where it really lives with its own trains and subways and skyline).

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as we mourn the passing of Mr. Lou Reed who passed through his own autumn and reached the winter of his life too, too s o o n.

goodnight mr. seamus heaney

darlings

we just turned on the digital device to catch up with the latest from BBC Radio 4 and heard of the passing of Mr. Seamus Heaney. 

oh.

*pauses*

here’s the radio broadcast if you can hear this transmission in your Territory.

and a Fine Tribute of the man in the Irish Times here. 

may we share a few pictures from yesterday and today interspersed with words from the great, now late, Poet?

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From The Frontier Of Writing

The tightness and the nilness round that space
when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect
its make and number and, as one bends his face

towards your window, you catch sight of more
on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent
down cradled guns that hold you under cover

and everything is pure interrogation
until a rifle motions and you move
with guarded unconcerned acceleration—

a little emptier, a little spent
as always by that quiver in the self,
subjugated, yes, and obedient.

So you drive on to the frontier of writing
where it happens again. The guns on tripods;
the sergeant with his on-off mike repeating

data about you, waiting for the squawk
of clearance; the marksman training down
out of the sun upon you like a hawk.

And suddenly you’re through, arraigned yet freed,
as if you’d passed from behind a waterfall
on the black current of a tarmac road

past armor-plated vehicles, out between
the posted soldiers flowing and receding
like tree shadows into the polished windscreen.

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A comet that was lost
Should be visible at sunset,
Those million tons of light
Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips,

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Sunlight

“Now she dusts the board

with a goose’s wing,

now sits, broad-lapped,

with whitened nails

and measling shins:

here is a space

again, the scone rising

to the tick of two clocks.”

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Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

goodnight, sweet man.

now to more prosaic (forgive us) Thoughts:

if there Is an Afterlife *shivers* – do they have a special cloistered 16th century former monastery (perhaps one of those taken away by naughty Henry VIII) where the Poets go?

and if they do have this place of dwelling for them to continue to inspire and dream while sitting on the corner of a stone seat, do they watch out for Keats and Yeats from the corner of their eye and wait to be invited into the special turret room at the top where you can see Elysium?

and does Sappho pick fights with stevie smith who retorts with a sharp “Wait until the Poet Laureate gets here, madam!”?

makes one want to write a Poem just to see if one might get access even if it’s just for Exeat from wherever they send Us………

cue: *wistfullooktocamera*

distracted by lines of poetry and pretty shoes.

darlings

we are Meant to be Working.

*wistfulLookOutOfTheWindow*

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

viewer

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……

*lookintomiddledistance*

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

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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.

*sighs*

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.

*smiling*

ok.

*shufflesPapers*

grown-up attention span required again.

*lookslonginglyoutofthewindow*

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.

*smiles*

*wavingfromlosangeles*

and now *concentratingVeryHard*

back. to. work.

 

a sleepless night with keats.

darlings.

 

are you still awake?

tis late, we know.

……shhhh…..

everyone is sleeping in the apartment building over here.

but us.

our candles are burning brightly for we have stayed up – warm, cosy, under the blankets and smooth sheets – to watch Bright Star.

we Thought we had told you about our experience (not quite meeting for we never shook hands or embraced on both cheeks as per our usual definition of Meeting someone) of seeing Jane Campion speak at the Director’s Guild in Manhattan.

but it must have been before we became teamgloria………….how curious that there were Movie Screenings that happened before we could tell you about them.

To whom did we tell before?

We remembered feeling Utterly Light-headed and dreamy and full of promise and hope and poetry and bluebell woods and calico petticoats.

Yes.

We did ask a Question (we always enjoy asking Directors a question for we are terribly Keen to learn, for our own future exploits and excitements).

what’s that?

yes. you’re right. a few of our favo(u)rite actors are indeed present in this movie. the gifted and lovely Ms. Cornish, Mr. Whishaw (whom we are eagerly awaiting in the second series of The Hour – if you scroll down this post – ahem – what appears to be a Rather Long and enthusiastic post, you’ll see a moment from that script and our own musings therein) and Mr. Schneider (his performance in The Beloved impressed us greatly and was No. 10 in our list of summer movies during our hiatus from teamgloria in case you want a recap here).

Alas we cannot recall the Question that we asked Jane Campion now (may we call her Jane? – yet we feel sure that she has a cool nickname that one would use but only Know if one truly knew her).

when?

at the screening at the Director’s Guild.

frowning (prettily).

Something about Hampstead and England and how-she-researched and why and wherefore and oh – let’s have some poetry.

a little something from Keats?

why yes.

lie back on the pale apricot satin chaise and tea shall be arriving shortly while Mr. Keats reads to us.

Bright 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.