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*

poems chosen by P. L. Travers, photographs by teamgloria

darlings

while “winding down” (makes us sound like a Clock – *ironiclooktocamera*) this evening we listened to the Radio from 1977 (so Clever, these digital devices all connected to the interweb).

P. L. Travers (Pamela, as we like to call her) regaled us with her stories of magic and Mary Poppins and the Celtic Twilight and life growing up in Australia many moons ago.

and in a surprising twist (not that Surprising when one of course considers the Source) – she chose not Music (as is usual in the programme – and we use the British spelling advisedly) but POEMS.

how glorious.

and so we thought we’d list some of them here for you – together with a few photographs of our own which are no way related (as far as we know but with P.L. Travers would wouldn’t be surprised – and she did live in America for a while so perhaps she trod these paths too….)

Los Angeles Times: April 25th, 1996 
Travers often said her famous character sought her out.

In a 1970 speech at Scripps College in Claremont when she was a writer-in-residence, she said she “happened to be there at the moment [Poppins appeared] in order to take it down.”

Travers was also writer-in-residence at Radcliffe College from 1965-66 and at Smith College in 1966.

She was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1977.

Travers, who never married, lived in London’s Chelsea district, where she prided herself on her rose garden, complete with the yellow Mary Poppins and the crimson Pamela Travers roses.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

home

T S Eliot 
Little Gidding

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

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Cymbeline by William Shakespeare

“Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

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Chose Something Like A Star – Robert Frost

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

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“This is our country, nowhere else and we shall not be outcast on the world.” John Hewitt, The Outcast

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and this is a photograph we feel sure P. L. Travers would have enjoyed – we turned round a corner (in reality, not metaphorically, but we know it’s hard to tell Here) and saw this man trimming a topiary! how delicious!

we were going to say Only In Los Angeles but actually topiary is terribly British but perhaps not that many giraffes at Chatsworth*.

what’s that?

you’d like a giraffe topiary in Your garden?

you have a garden?

why have you not sent us pictures (links please!) – we adore a garden (sadly we don’t have one – but there is a swimming pool and plenty of succulents-in-pots so we are not lacking in anyway)

back to You *winningsmile*

here’s where to buy a giraffe topiary frame of your very own.

*actually we must not slander Chatsworththe Duchess had a Christmas festive topiary Educational experience for the Public back in 2011

Table centre and topiary tree 2 and 5 December
Design a festive table centre with a nostalgic Victorian theme using elegant candles, berries, evergreens, cones, nuts and spices. This workshop also looks at designing a spiced topiary tree with cones, cinnamon, gilded nuts, fragrant Norwegian blue spruce and wonderful preserved fruits.

one last photograph from today –

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAah yes.

*sighs*

to live somewhere like that.

but in its natural habitat – in the south of France (this is a house in beverly hills which is contrasted with the house next door that looks like something from the Rule of the Medici family and the one over the road hails distinctly – but on a whole other scale – from Somewhere in the Shires of England).

but there again – we’d be happy anywhere.

that’s the point, right?

*calmBuddhaPose*

btw (as the Young People say) did you know there’s a new Film about P. L. Travers at the cinema soon?

guess who’s playing the charming yet feckless Father-of-P.L.-Travers drowning in the celtic twilight poetry of his own twisted glorious imagination?

who else?