All over the world events are cancelled. People who worked hard to put together a programme see it torn to nothing by a creature that is so small it’s invisible.
Those of us who were looking forward to a dose of culture, in my case particularly literature, must give up for this year.
Online is wonderful, and I congratulate and thank anyone who has created an online festival. But it’s not a substitute for the buzz of a real poetry reading, the joy of anticipating a panel of famous writers in the flesh, the pleasure of going through a hard-copy programme and ticking off the events to see.
However, there’s another side to this. So many festivals cancelled! Yes, but let us remember that there were ‘so many’ to cancel. So many organisers, who are often volunteers, so many eager audiences.
In years past and to come we live in a time of celebrating the arts and sciences like never before in history.
It seems not to be as well known as its companion and is less available. I found it in a library and it looked as if it hadn’t been borrowed for decades.
The Princes of the title are tribesmen living on the borders of Tibet and China, known to the Chinese as Lolos but calling themselves Yi.
Goullart lived and worked in the area for a couple of years and got to know the people well. He travelled extensively, often in dangerous situations, and met local people at all levels of society. When he finally had to leave, he had to do so in a hurry, having stepped, unwittingly, on a few toes.
The book gives a vivid description of the area, its wildlife, scenery and inhabitants. He was there just as the modernisation of China was starting and the world he describes is now gone. We are lucky to have such a good writer to record it.
The sun is shining so hard today it’s difficult to remember that everything was white with snow less than a week ago.
I took this picture last time we had snow, I no longer have a pampas grass to catch snowflakes and hold them up to be admired.
The white beauty lasted longer then; this year it was only decorating the garden for two days.
I’ve written haiku about snow before but it’s a subject that lends itself to the lightness of very short poems.
Today the garden
is lovely with snow, but will it
last ’til tomorrow.
Recently I’ve been re-reading Poem for the Day One edited by Nicholas Albery. Today’s poem is a section of Rupert Brooke‘s ‘The Old Vicarage: Grantchester‘ written in 1912 while he was on a long journey in Germany. . It starts:-
Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester.
In this expression of homesickness he describes the beauties of rural England in detail. It sounds idyllic.
Reading it I began to wonder how much of the idealisation of homeland/motherland/fatherland is created not by those in it but by those away. I suspect that most countries have a body of nostalgic literature, often poetry, written by the exiled, the war bound or the long-time traveller.
Such idylls are very pervasive. Do they still affect the way people vote or even fight?
Writing in North Norfolk has some great and imaginative posts. Here is a wonderful example of new and unusually used words. I think the bird is a kiwi, but I could be wrong; I’m not very knowledgeable about birds.
My response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #117 “July 11th, 2016”
Ambisinister as a duck,
I scratch the surface of a metaphor
In a shivering thunderhead
Of poetic ephemerids,
Filling the chambers
Of my heart with benign
Imagery and rhyme.
No need to bribe
The plush gates of heaven
When you have your own
© Kim M. Russell, 2016
Today I logged into Wordnik for the first time in many months. As you can guess, if you don’t already know it, Wordnik is about words – finding, gathering, listing, sharing, commenting.
Browsing through my collection I was reminded of the words I’d garnered in the past, including one of my favourites: lucubratory. This word has two meanings that may of may not be related. One is laborious or painstaking. The other is much more poetic; composed by candlelight or by night or pertaining to night studies.
A special word for composed by candlelight!
I imagine an old-time sage painstakingly writing out poems or music (or both – maybe he’s a singer/songwriter) by the light of a guttering and smelly candle; which is all he can afford until people recognise his genius and reward him accordingly. Preferably while he’s still around to enjoy it.
Are there words for composed by torchlight or electric-light? Do we need them?
Composed by moonlight is a beautiful thought: shall we call it lunabratory? I suspect even a determined sage would find it difficult to see well enough by the moon alone.
Perhaps fairies compose by firefly light, and mermaids by deep-sea squid light.
On a more serious note, is writing or composing affected by the kind of light used? Do candles encourage the romantic and halogen the aggressive? I think it likely to have an effect, but I also think it would be both individual and very subtle.
Great that rural women get their own day. Too often they are overshadowed by urbanites.
I’ve recently been reading about the literature of marginalised peoples (I’ll blog about it one day) so was drawn to this review. I haven’t read the book but it sounds fascinating. A romance that doesn’t ignore political realities must be unusual.
Our Time Now – A review of the novel ‘Madderakka’
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass
Author M C Raj’s novel ‘Madderakka: A Romantic Journey Through Cultures’ is a love story that celebrates the human spirit in its highs & lows. The protagonists in this love story are not just a couple of individuals but representatives of two indigenous communities from separate parts of the world. Veeran is an Adijan, member of the so called untouchable caste from India while Ramona is a Sami woman from Norway. An anthropologist and a philosopher meet under special circumstances and romance blooms between them. They also discover the similarities in rituals followed and oppressions faced by their…
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