I can’t remember where I took this photo, but I love the mass of large, spiky, in-yer-face leaves.
I checked around to see if I could find any poems about cardoons. The internet is not exactly thick with them but I did find one, about a baboon but including cardoon.
Flowers in a bed tend to give me the impression that they are posing, not for a photo, but for a haiku. I couldn’t find any ready written so here is my haiku on these magnificent plants.
Round cardoon heads stand above
rosettes of huge leaves.
I google ‘sea-slug’;
my screen fills with images;
all are beautiful.
This sounds like an interesting event. I regret that it’s too far for me but others may be closer. Thank you to ShortStops for publishing the details.
Come and listen to some tales of May madness, Mayans and a certain hairy rock star at Hand of Doom’s May-themed story nights in Kent.
They take place in Folkestone on Friday, May 19 at the Grand Hotel, The Leas, and the following evening, Saturday, May 20, in Faversham at The Guidhall, both from 7.45pm for an 8pm start.
For more information, please go to Facebook Hand of Doom Productions
Recently, however, I stumbled on an article on Pope the gardener in the blog Eighteenth Century Media. Apparently Pope was famous, not only as a poet, but also as a gardener, and friends and fans frequently asked his advice on major and minor aspects of gardening. He may have designed gardens; he certainly had things to say about them.
He favoured the classical style (modern in his day) in which there was a balance between nature and artifice, display and restraint, variety and simplicity. This balance was not just aesthetically pleasing but morally as well. Restraint and ‘consulting the genius of the place’ showed good taste and self control.
Among his writings are a number of Epistles written in verse. One of these, The Epistle to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington, although about the use and abuse of riches, also contains a lot of advice on gardening. As a detailed how-to of horticulture it might not be very useful but it’s aesthetics might be useful for any kind of design.
Oft have you hinted to your brother peer
A certain truth, which many buy too dear:
Something there is, more needful than expense,
And something previous even to taste – ’tis sense:
For those of us who don’t have a fortune to spend on our gardens, it’s comforting to think that all we need is sense, which is free.
By chance I stumbled on a Wikipedia article about Allah Jang Palsoe, an Indonesian stage play, dating from 1919, by Kwee Tek Hoay. The title translates as False God and is about two brothers who discover that money does not bring happiness.
Despite the fact that the original idea came from a short story by E. Phillips Oppenheim, a westerner, it is a truly Indonesian work and is still sometimes performed.
Reading the article I realised I know practically nothing about Indonesian theatre, or other literature. I have heard of the puppet theatre and have even seen extracts on TV, but that’s the extent of my knowledge. I strongly suspect that Indonesians know much more about our theatre than we do about theirs: they may even read Shakespeare in school.
My ignorance probably extends to numerous theatrical traditions, and it seems such a pity to miss so much. Another topic to add to my ‘to be googled’ list.
I wish I was in Buxton to hear this talk. Thank you James Burt for reminding me that the ‘official’ history isn’t all there is.
The Odditorium: the tricksters, eccentrics, deviants and inventors whose obsessions changed the world (Hodder & Stoughton, 2016) includes some amazing characters. Some you’ll have heard of, some you probably won’t. All of them have changed the world, although in some cases the wider world hasn’t noticed yet. They include Joshua Norton, first Emperor of America, and Reginald Bray, who carried out strange experiments with the Royal Mail. I was delighted to be asked to write about Apsley Cherry-Garrard, who is by far my favourite explorer.
When I was at school, we were often told stories about adventurers and explorers as something to aspire to. Captain Robert Falcon Scott was held up as a great example, bravely sacrificing himself in an attempt to reach the South Pole. As Sara Wheeler once described Antarctica, our southernmost continent often seems to be “a testing-ground for men with frozen beards to see how dead…
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If you’re in Birmingham or Durham over the next couple of months, you should look out for this strange beast.
It’s a sound installation called Poetry Periscope and it’s on a UK tour. It started it’s journey in April as part of the European Literature Festival, and it’s still going – unwearied and cheery in its yellowness.
It plays 30 poems from 30 European cultures. Each is played in its own language and in English translation. To stand in a shopping mall or railway station and listen to all that may be a bit much, but perhaps the commute to work or shopping trip can be enhanced by a couple of the recordings.
In addition to the Festival, a number of organisations are involved with the project including European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), The Poetry Society and Pianos on the Street.