(posted to Flickr by World Economic Forum 29/1/09)
how can you dare
to call voters to arms *
when you were the one who raised bogus alarms?
- metaphorically, we hope!
For introduction, see previous post.
(Photo: by Ballista at English Wikipedia, May 2006)
(a monologue, as spoken by Mary Shelley…)
I remember he called me his veiled maid
and said I had a voice like his own soul.
Up what he termed the watery staircases,
we rose, emerging under a humped bridge.
Ostensibly, we sought the Isis source,
but were we really looking for the fount
of Inspiration… Imagination?
All the while, like Narcissus, he just stared;
reflected on the depths, till weeds choked us,
at Inglesham. We lodged at The New Inn.
Peacock encouraged us to eat some chops.
Thus fortified, we strolled before the curfew,
through the ancient churchyard, which seemed to rouse
the Muse in him, for he became withdrawn
and it was only his echoing cough
which disturbed our tranquility. The spire
pointed heavenward, as if to raise heads
cast down by the dejection of their pasts.
I thought of Clara- and mother also-
and dwelt awhile on my estranged father.
Well, Wordsworth was quite right- the good die first.
What strange visions and dreams I’d had before:
my babe resurrected, but then more deaths.
Suicides ensued. Yet on that still night,
we watched the moon; heard the Angelus
and felt a kind of divine Immanence.
I wanted to drift forever on streams;
to exorcise my deep melancholy.
Harriet had threatened to prosecute:
she made his ‘atheism’ a pretext,
citing elopement and abandonment.
But he was only in love with loving:
like Augustine, he was not yet in love,
though he claimed to reject Beauty, Nature,
seeking to find full truth in a woman.
All that free love was, at times, fatiguing.
Why did I always have to share his love?
He even shared his father’s allowance.
We never made it to The Falls of Clyde,
for he could not produce the Severn fee
and Charles and Peacock could not contribute.
So, while he spoke of Lycidas and death,
I felt that I was drowning in sorrows.
Suddenly his ‘airy scheme’ seemed grounded.
I longed to return to Windsor Great Park,
but the gargoyles seemed to mock my desires.
So, what was I left with?
I edit work
and open the pages of ‘Adonais’,
gazing at that once strongly beating heart;
mummified now; wrapped around in white silk.
Is that all that remains of burning love?
No, for even among the crumbling tombs,
verse was produced on that late summer night
and his very heartbeat was metrical.
Now I hold the rhythms of his life- here-
not between the pages, but within them.
Adonais, Charles Clairmont, cor cordium, Cricklade, Douglas, dramatic monologue, Holamn Hunt, Isabella and pot of basil, Keats, Lechlade, Mary Shelley, Monty Don, Percy B Shelley, Protestant Cemetery, Robert the Bruce, Rome, Severn Canal, skiff, Thomas Hardy, Thomas Love Peacock, Tripadvisor, Valentine's Day, Walter Raleigh
(P B S’s gravestone in The Protestant Cemetery, Rome.
28/8/04 Author: carptrash Einar Einarsson Kvaran
transferred from en wikipaedia)
‘Cor Cordium‘ was inscribed on Shelley’s grave and means ‘heart of hearts.‘
Valentine’s Day seemed an apt time to look into what happened to his
Apparently Mary Shelley kept it wrapped up in white silk and it was
placed between the pages of a book, at her husband’s poem on
Keats: ‘Adonais.‘ It can’t have been the whole organ, so must have been
a sliver which was saved from immolation on the beach at Spezia.
It reminded me of Robert the Bruce’s heart being encased in a lead
casket. It was meant to be taken to The Holy Land, but Douglas failed to
dispose of it there, so it returned to Scotland.
Hearts were often removed and, like Thomas Hardy’s, were buried
separately from the rest of the remains.
It is rather ghoulish to ponder on what Isabella had in her pot of basil,
or what Walter Raleigh’s widow carried around with her in a leather bag.
Yes, sometimes it was a head and not a heart. People can be weird.
(I don’t know what you have to feed basil, the herb, with, but I never
seem to have any luck with growing it in a pot. Isabella seemed to be
quite successful, judging by Holman Hunt’s painting, but I don’t think
Monty Don would prescribe such an extreme compost.)
Anyway, my next dramatic monologue references Mary, in later life,
meditating on their September voyage up the Thames, in the
company of Charles Clairmont and the novelist Thomas Love Peacock.
They failed to reach Cricklade and the source of the river and, in any
case, did not have the £20 to pay the navigation fee for their skiff to
enter The Severn Canal. So, they stayed two nights in Lechlade and
P B S ( pernicious bowel syndrome- not) wrote a poem in the
Peacock called the inn ‘comfortable‘ so it would have had a good review
on ‘Tripadvisor,’ had such a site had been in existence.
The day before yesterday I traced the hostelry in which they stayed and
viewed a bedroom which MIGHT have been the one in which they lodged.
Then I walked through the churchyard of St Lawrence’s Church to admire
the snowdrops, which they certainly would not have done, their visit
having been in late summer, 1815.
Cor Cordium (a poem on Valentine’s Day)
see next post…
Since there was some discussion as to what the rules of
a clerihew should be, I consulted my friend, Matthew Francis
on the matter- of course, by clerihew:
talking about the clerihew…
must you only have a name in the first line,
or, is having more than that, in your opinion, fine?
I received this reply:
devotees of the clerihew art,
on the principles of E. C. Bentley.
So, feeling a sense of liberation, I give you today’s:
(David Beckham in the Royal Box, 28/6/14
by Brian Minkoff- London Pixels)
David Beckham, aka ‘Becks,’
you seemed a model for your sex,
but your alleged obsession to receive a gong,
may taint your after-shave with a lingering pong.
(Official Portrait of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Author: Scottish Government)
you might seem a curmudgeon,
but when it comes to giving flack,
the prize goes to Mhairi Black.
(Image from SNP video. On You Tube &
My own version of a clerihew, with variation in the last line.
Trump may not have read Robert Frost:
particularly the poem about human relations and their cost.
Both seem convinced good neighbours are made by good walls,
but many suspect that is…not the case.
Theresa May- but then she may not.
She’s the PM- well, who would have thought!
All she will say on our EU exit
is a sphinx-like, tautologous ‘Brexit means Brexit.‘
(Controller of HM Stationery Office