You would have thought that with scenery like this, I’d have come home with some first-rate pictures of Abbotsford, the castle-style home Sir Walter Scott built, but as I spent the time there in a weird state of literary reverie, this is as good as I could muster.
I read Waverley, as a youngster, but I’m ashamed to confess I have forgotten it. The Bride Of Lammermoor, a romantic horror story, stays with me. Continue reading “Abbotsford: Sir Walter Scott’s Home In The Scottish Borders”
Transformed into a silhouette, its beak open, the bird on the edge of the Grand Canyon seems more symbol than living creature: something we’ll each interpret under influences as consistent as temperament and experience or as fleeting as a mood. Long time followers may recognise a similar, more uplifting shot, taken nearby.
Coming across the picture and the short poem, Requiem by Kurt Vonnegut, in quick succession, it seemed fitting to put them together here, today. Continue reading “The Last Living Thing”
(a gardener’s poem)
Bending, I watch you dance
Twist in the wind
Anchored by slender stems;
Barometers of spring blooming early,
Wearing hearts on your petals.
Things that harm us may seem sweet
But you’re not here to harm;
Any fool can see that. Continue reading “To Snowdrops Flowering Early”
So fair, so sweet, so sensitive,
Would that the little Flowers were born to live,
Conscious of half the pleasure that they give…
I’m sharing this for the weekly photo challenge from my favourite poetry anthology, Minorities: poems T.E. Lawrence hand-copied to a small, leather-bound notebook he kept with him.
Continue reading “Are You Conscious Of The Pleasure You Give?”
Gardeners work in harmony with the seasons. Just walking through countryside, as I did in the snow yesterday, helps me feel in harmony with myself and the world. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony”
Gerard Manley Hopkins was an innovator who wrote about nature and faith, rapture and despair. For me, we are all eccentrics, all individuals. Not everyone will share this view, but Gerard Manley Hopkins was idiosyncratic on anyone’s terms, often to his cost.
While at Balliol College at Oxford, he converted to Catholicism, tearing himself from his artistic, loving Anglican family to a tougher life as a Jesuit. He never regretted his decision, but struggled with depression and the drudgery of some of his duties. Conflicted about whether writing was compatible with his vocation, he wrote relatively little after his conversion. At the time of his premature death in 1889 his work was largely unknown. Continue reading “Ten must-read Gerard Manley Hopkins poems: Poetry to scratch our bellies on”
During our visit to Grasmere yesterday, clouds lay low over rolling hills, but the greyness just added atmosphere to the water, hills, woods, dry stone walls, ferns and wildflowers along our way.
We’d stopped off here to walk around the lake: my idea of exercise! Our route took us past houses, lakeside businesses, farmland and woods before swinging down to the path around the shore. Continue reading “Grasmere: an uplifting walk round the poet’s lake”