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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:18 pm 
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Well, I've read Priddy Barrows and blogged it here.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:14 pm 
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I liked the black/light images in the extract.
Not so keen on the godlike view - bit cliched.
Have no problem with colons and semis :oops:

But you can see the talent, maybe a little self conscious yet. It does make you wonder how he would have developed.
Thanks for posting that, Ian. I was keen to hear what you thought.
Marion


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:24 pm 
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It made the book feel older than its 1945 publication. Other stuff I've read contemporary with that is Graham Greene... and Priddy Barrows feels like it was written decades before Greene's novels. Except for the various mentions of cars, that is :-)

I get the impression his reading had mostly been the likes of Bronte, Austen, etc., and so that's what he wrote. In places, I was also reminded of the Alfred Hitchcock film, The Skin Game.

It's a shame he was killed in the war. He could have gone on to better things. It would be interesting to compare it with Lawrence Durrell's first novel, Pied Piper of Lovers, but copies of that are incredibly rare and incredibly expensive...

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:33 pm 
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Of course, Graham Greene ws ahead of his time and an innovator. But I agree he does have a slightly old fashioned feel, even for his time. Feeling his way, looking for his voice...
And doubtless no time for writing novels in the war.
Such a waste.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:08 pm 
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Came across an old favourite today:


An Arundel Tomb

Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd -
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor's sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would no guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the grass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-littered ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigures them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

Philip Larkin


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:26 pm 
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Just a snippet from Emily Bronte:

Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:59 pm 
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I know it's not verse but the quote below (given to me elsewhere) seems to go well with the Bronte:

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life--to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. - George Eliot

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:41 pm 
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I';m not sure I like the sound of 'unspeakable'. I wonder if the word has changed its meaning over the years?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:44 pm 
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I took 'unspeakable' to mean 'numinous' (or 'telepathic' like the twins).

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:33 am 
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I instantly thought of Hindley and Brady and unspeakable memories!
I;ll go to the bad fire for that, I know I will...


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:35 pm 
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Getting into seasonal mood:

The Night Before Christmas
By Clement Clarke Moore


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:53 pm 
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In this poem, I have always liked the references to the future scattered about the Nativity:

Journey of the Magi - T.S. Eliot Contact - Login - Site map - Lists - Home
- T.S. Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times when we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:13 am 
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Marion Arnott wrote:
In this poem, I have always liked the references to the future scattered about the Nativity:

Journey of the Magi - T.S. Eliot Contact - Login - Site map - Lists - Home


Indeed, Marion!
A poem I've always enjoyed that one, btw. But I don't usually like Christmas poems in general, probably because I don't like Christmas. :-)
But, Happy Christmas to you, Marion.
des

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:08 pm 
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And a Merry Christmas to you too, Des - and all the contribitors and viewers of this thread!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:41 pm 
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I'm in a Sitwell mood now after finding the war one for the other thread. Isn't the imagery in this one fine?

Bells Of Gray Crystal


Bells of gray crystal
Break on each bough--
The swans' breath will mist all
The cold airs now.
Like tall pagodas
Two people go,
Trail their long codas
Of talk through the snow.
Lonely are these
And lonely and I ....
The clouds, gray Chinese geese
Sleek through the sky.




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