a reconstruction from the 1990s from a plaster cast of his skull.
A disease like leprosy ravaged the 53 year old’s features.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
Photo by Candia
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…
John was just about ready to return to St Birinus’ Middle School for the
Autumn Term. His mother, Gisela, was sewing name tapes on to his
various items of uniform. A casserole was simmering nicely in the oven,
so he was allowed to watch one of his favourite DVDs while they were
Mum! he shouted, waving the box. Don’t you think Po is like that
Scottish guy who was on the telly the other night?
No, the other one. The one that kept talking about best interests.
Don’t be rude, John. She couldn’t help smiling, though.
Yeah, mum. Po is always going on about how he is the chosen one
who will fulfil an ancient prophecy. It says on the lid that he puts his
heart and his girth into the task. He tries to get over the wall into
the Palace grounds. The Soothsayer tells him that it is not the past
that shapes a person, but they are in awe of a previous hero who has
ascended into the heavens and whose ghost is watching them from
Maybe that was William Wallace, or Robert the Bruce? speculated
Before she knew it, Gisela was drawn into the plot, if you could call it
Shifa seemed to be for some kind of union. He cautioned that there
would have to be a lot of cleaning up afterwards.
Then there was a lot of empty philosophy about simply believing in things.
Mr Ping revealed that the secret ingredient- a kind of Plan B?- was nothing.
Nothing at all! ‘To make something special, you just have to believe it’s
special.’ (Where had she heard that logic before?)
The tigress seemed more disgruntled: And now (we’re) stuck with you, a
big fat panda..who treats (us) like a joke. She didn’t seem to believe that
Po was fit to be in The Jade Palace. She told Po that if he had any respect
for the others he’d be gone by morning. Yet, when he achieved a victory,
Master Tigress rewarded him with a hug and they employed tandem combat
The sceptical no voter, Tai Long, challenges the would-be Master: What
are you gonna do, big guy? Sit on me?
Po replies in characteristic fashion: I’m not a big fat panda. I’m THE big
Gisela went into the kitchen to check the potatoes. Supper’s ready!
You’ve just got to believe, Mum, said John, coming into the kitchen
with his arms flailing like the sails of a demented windmill.
No, replied his mother firmly, draining the spuds. Po is too concerned
with what was yesterday and that is history. I’m more interested in