Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Does Your IQ Score Accurately Reflect Your Intelligence ?

IQ tests measure things that can be measured! Many areas of human excellence, however, cannot easily be measured – such as artistic and musical creativity, emotional maturity, intuition, sensitivity to the needs of others, keeping a cool head in emergencies, being able to impersonate other people, and inventiveness. Some people may excel in these areas and yet perform poorly in tests that are language-based. Students who have failed in language- or number-based GCE’s often do very well on university courses in the arts. Similarly, some people who are poor at languages are excellent at computer sciences.

Einstein’s schoolwork was not very good – yet IQ tests are supposed to correlate well with school performance. Einstein claimed that his initial idea on the relativity of time and space struck him in a moment of inspiration while he was daydreaming that he was riding on a sunbeam. This kind of imaginative thinking is difficult to measure using IQ tests.

Cottrel, Stella. (1999) The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd edn. Palgrave Macmillan, p47.

Gardner's Multiple Intelligences

1 Linguistic – such as reading, writing, talking, listening or poetry.

2 Logical, mathematical – such as ability with numbers, or legal or scientific thinking.

3 Spatial – such as navigating a boat or a plane, driving, or architecture

4 Musical – such as singing, composing, playing an instrument, or appreciating music

5 Bodily-kinaesthetic – such as sports, drama, dance, or making things

6 Interpersonal – such as counselling and teaching skills, or understanding others

7 Intrapersonal – such as self-understanding, self-management, or reflection.

The list is quotes from; Cottrel, Stella. (1999) The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd edn. Palgrave Macmillan

Which in turn is taken from; Gardner, Howard. (1993) Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, 2nd edn. London: Fonatana.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hymn Of Hate

French and Russian, they matter not,
A blow for a blow, a shot for a shot,
We fight the battle with bronze and steel,
And the time that is coming Peace will seal.
You we will hate with a lasting hate,
We will never forego our hate,
Hate by water and hate by land,
Hate of the head and hate of the hand,
Hate of the hammer and hate of the crown,
Hate of seventy millions choking down.
We love as one, we hate as one,
We have one foe and one alone
- Ernst Lissauer (1914)
"The hymn was distributed in the German army, taught to German school children, set to music and sung in concerts. Lissauer was decorated for it by the Kaiser. It was also quickly used as counter-propaganda: translated into English and published in Britain and the U.S.A. to show how hateful those beastly Huns were and also to turn it round, by training English readers to hate the Germans back." - Friendship and Emnity in the First World War, Max Saunders, Literature & History Third Series Spring 2008 (Manchester University Press), 17 1, p62-77.

The People's Charter

•Universal suffrage (the right to vote)

•Abolition of property qualifications for members of parliament

•Annual parliamentary elections

•Equal representation

•Payment of members of parliament

•Vote by secret ballot

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Homework - Who Does How Much ?

In a very scientific survey taken in the kitchen this lunchtime, the three students on duty owned up to how much study they had accomplished during the previous week of the Easter holidays.  Names have not been changed to protect the guilty.

Subject #1 - Rachel, A Level student, Hours of work - 10, Hours of study - "About 2"

Subject #2 - Rob, University student; Hours of work - 25, Hours of study - Nil

Subject #3 - Mike, Open University student; Hours of work - 75, Hours of study "about 12"

Motivation, you either have it, or you procrastinate.

Linton Kwesi Johnson: The Great Insurrection


Slowly the white dream wrestle(s) to life
hands shaping the salt and the foreign cornfields
the cold flesh kneaded by fingers
is ready for the charcoal for the black wife

of heat the years of green sleeping in the volcano.
the dream becomes tougher. settling into its shape
like a bullfrog.  suns rise and electrons
touch it. walls melt into brown. moving to crisp and crackle

breathing edge of the knife of the oven.
noise of the shop. noise of the farmer. market.
on this slab of lord. on this table w/ its oil-skin cloth
on this altar of the bone. this scarifice

of isaac. warm dead. warm merchandise. more than worn merchandise
itself. the dream of the soil itself
flesh of the god you break. peace to your lips. strife

of the multitudes who howl all day for ijs saviour
who need its crumbs as fish. flickering through their green element
need a wide glassy wisdom
to keep their groans alive

and this loaf here. life
now halted. more and more water add-
itive. the dream less clear. the soil more distant
its prayer of table. bless of lips. more hard to reach w/ penn-

ies. the knife
that should have cut it. the hands that should have broken open its victory
of crusts at your throat. balaam watching w/ red leak
-ing eyes. the rats

finding only this young empty husk
ening their ratchets. your wife
going out on the streets. searching searching

her feet tapping. the lights of the motor-
cars watching watching round-
ing the shape of her girdle. her back naked

rolled into night into night w/out morning
rolled into dead into dead w/out vision
rolled into life into life w/out dream

- Kamau Braithwaite

A City's Death By Fire

After that hot gospeller has levelled all but the churched sky,
I wrote the tale by tallow of a city's death by fire;
Under a candle's eye, that smoked in tears, I
Wanted to tell, in more than wax, of faiths that were snapped like wire.
All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales,
Shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar;
Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales
Torn open by looting, and white, in spite of the fire.
By the smoking sea, where Christ walked, I asked, why
Should a man wax tears, when his wooden world fails?
In town, leaves were paper, but the hills were a flock of faiths;
To a boy who walked all day, each leaf was a green breath
Rebuilding a love I thought was dead as nails,
Blessing the death and the baptism by fire. - Derek Walcott


fold-over-fold free-furrow
mingling old tunes with new.
Tidewash.....Ride me
memories, astride on firm
saddle, wreathed with white
lillies & roses of blood.....

Sing to the rustic flute:
Sing a new note...

Where are the Maytime flowers,
where the roses? What will the
Watermaid bring at sundown,
a garland? A handful of tears?
Sing to the rustic flute:
Sing a new note...

Comes Dawn
gasping thro worn lungs,
Day breathes,
panting like torn horse -

We follow the wind to the fields
Bruising grass leafblade and corn...

Sundown: I draw in my egg head.
Night falls
smearing sore bruises with Sloan's
boring new holes in old sheets -

We hear them, the talkative pines,
And nightbirds and woodnymphs afar off ...

Shall I answer their call,
creep on my underself
out of my snug hole, out of my shell
to the rocks and the fringe for cleansing?
Shall I offer to Idoto
my sandhouse and bones,
then write no more snow-patch?

Sing to the rustic flute.
Sing a new note. - Christopher Okigbo

Saturday, April 23, 2011


William Ernest HenleyImage via WikipediaOut of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. - William Ernest Henley

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Thomas CarlyleImage via Wikipedia"The King has virtually abdicated; the Church is a widow, without jointure; public principle is gone; private honesty is going; society, in short, is in fact falling to pieces; and a time of unmixed evil is come upon us" - Thomas Carlyle, Signs Of The Times (Essay), June 1829, published in the Edinburgh Review.
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Don't Analyze Shakespeare ?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)“If we were theatre practitioners, we might claim that Shakespeare’s plays should always be regarded as scripts for performance, not texts to be analyzed in the study or classroom.  We might argue that the force-feeding of Shakespeare’s demanding language to schoolchildren for the purposes of examination is positively destructive of the enjoyment and enlightenment that the plays offer in performance when the momentum of the plot and the relationships between the characters are so forceful that it does not matter if we find ourselves not entirely sure what is meant by phrases such as Hamlet’s ‘Against the which, a moiety competent / Was gaged by our king’, or the Fool’s ‘O, nuncle, court holy-water in a dry house is better than this rain water out o’door’. We might say that theatre is drama before it becomes literature, that Shakespeare is most Shakespearean when actor and audience meet in the live, shared space of a playhouse. In support of this view, it might be argued that whereas Ben Jonson carefully prepared his plays for publication, Shakespeare showed no interest in the immortalization of his drama in print. He was a working playwright, the first to have the position of in-house dramatist within a theatre company. He wrote for particular actors, particular stage spaces, particular audiences (public, private and courtly). He would be astonished to discover that his scripts have been turned into literature and submitted to more interpretations – moral, psychological, formal, political, sociological, historical, philosophical, biographical – than any other writings in the history of the world with the exception of Holy Scripture.” Jonathan Bate, AVSI English Literature, p115.
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Elegy XX: To His Mistress Going to Bed

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysica...Image via WikipediaCOME, madam, come, all rest my powers defy ;
Until I labour, I in labour lie.
The foe ofttimes, having the foe in sight,
Is tired with standing, though he never fight.
Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glittering,
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breast-plate, which you wear,
That th' eyes of busy fools may be stopp'd there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime
Tells me from you that now it is bed-time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th' hill's shadow steals.
Off with your wiry coronet, and show
The hairy diadems which on you do grow.
Off with your hose and shoes ; then softly tread
In this love's hallow'd temple, this soft bed.
In such white robes heaven's angels used to be
Revealed to men ; thou, angel, bring'st with thee
A heaven-like Mahomet's paradise ; and though
Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know
By this these angels from an evil sprite ;
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.
Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O, my America, my Newfoundland,
My kingdom, safest when with one man mann'd,
My mine of precious stones, my empery ;
How am I blest in thus discovering thee !
To enter in these bonds, is to be free ;
Then, where my hand is set, my soul shall be.
Full nakedness ! All joys are due to thee ;
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys. Gems which you women use
Are like Atlanta's ball cast in men's views ;
That, when a fool's eye lighteth on a gem,
His earthly soul might court that, not them.
Like pictures, or like books' gay coverings made
For laymen, are all women thus array'd.
Themselves are only mystic books, which we
—Whom their imputed grace will dignify—
Must see reveal'd. Then, since that I may know,
As liberally as to thy midwife show
Thyself ; cast all, yea, this white linen hence ;
There is no penance due to innocence :
To teach thee, I am naked first ; why then,
What needst thou have more covering than a man? - John Donne

Jonathan Bate in AVI English Literature has the word Newfoundland hyphenated as new-found-land which gives a rather different meaning, and one which seems to sit better in the poem.  Wiki says the painting is "After a miniature by Isaac Oliver, 1616?"

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The Charge Of The Light Brigade

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, by George...Image via WikipediaHalf a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Some one had blundered:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they tuned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
o the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The painting is Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, by George Frederic Watts (died 1904), given to the National Portrait Gallery, London in 1895.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Silence of Modern Literature

Sir Gawain and the Green KnightImage via Wikipedia‘The modern experience of literature is predominantly silent and solitary. This has not always been the case. The ancient bards did not write their poems down; they memorized and recited their narratives. In The Canterbury Tales, poems are shared stories to enliven a journey. The romance of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is set during a Christmas feast in order to pass away a long winter’s evening. George Herbert and William Blake sang their own poems.’ – Jonathan Bate, AVI English Literature, p94.
The picture is a Medieval illumination of
 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Be Influenced

Ezra Pound. Drawing by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.Image via Wikipedia‘Be influenced by as many great artists as you can, but have the decency either to acknowledge the debt outright, or to try and conceal it’ - Ezra Pound

The drawing is a portrait of Ezra Pound by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915)

Quality Over Quantity Said Pound

Grave of Pound on the cemetery island of San M...Image via Wikipedia‘It is the presentation of such a ‘complex’ instantaneously which gives that sense of sudden liberation; that sense of freedom from time limits and space limits; that sense of sudden growth, which we experience in the presence of the greatest works of art.  It is better to present one Image in a lifetime than to produce Voluminous works.’ Ezra Pound, A Few Don’ts For An Imagiste, Quot. in AVI English Literature by Jonathan Bateman, p91.
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In A Station Of The Metro

Ezra Pound in 1913. Photograph by Alvin Langdo...Image via WikipediaThe apparition      of these faces       in the crowd;

Petals      on a wet, black      bough. - Ezra Pound

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‘[A literary work] is not a mere play of the imagination, the isolated caprice of an exited brain, but a transcript of contemporary manners and customs and the sign of a particular state of intellect.  The conclusion derived from this is that, through literary monuments, we can retrace the way in which men and women felt and thought many centuries ago.’ – Hippolyte Tain, Histoire de la literature anglaise, Quot. in AVI English Literature by Jonathan Bate, p81.

Easter Wings

Easter Wings by George Herbert

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Laithwaites Delivery

My free wines this month...

Shakespeare, Neither A Comedy Nor A Tragedy Be

Sir John Gilbert's 1849 painting: The Plays of...Image via Wikipedia“Literary criticism in Johnson’s time was dominated by French precepts. Johnson’s riposte was English common sense. Where the French tangled themselves in the rules of art, Johnson’s only principle was truth to life. Voltaire threw up his hands in horreur at Shakespeare’s mingling of tragedy and comedy, kings and clowns. Johnson replies that that is how life is…

‘Shakespeare’s plays are not in the rigorous and critical sense either tragedies or comedies, but compositions of a distinct kind; exhibiting the real state of sublunary nature, which partakes of good and evil, joy and sorrow, mingled with endless variety of proportion and innumerable modes of combination…in which, at the same time, the reveler is hasting to his wine, and the mourner burying his dead friend. ‘ “ - Jonathan Bate, AVI English LIterature, p68.

The painting is Sir John Gilbert's The Plays of William Shakespeare, 1849.

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English Literature And Dissent

First page of Areopagitica, by John MiltonImage via Wikipedia"From its very institutional origin then, the discipline of English Literature was associated with dissent, with the democratization of education, and with resistance to the eliticism of the established universities.  It was helpful in this regard that the most sublime English poet was considered to be John Milton, author not only of the defining religious epic Paradise Lost but also of prose treaties in defence of the freedom of the press (Areopagitica, 1644) and the sovereign right of the people to depose their rulers (The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, 1649)" - Jonathan Bate, AVI English Literature, p63.
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One Problem With Studying Art On The Internet

Cover of "Hold Your Fire"Cover of Hold Your FireThis is the Google image search page for Rush's Hold Your Fire album cover.

So when you click on an image of, for example, the Mona Lisa, what are you seeing ? Which of the hundreds of images shown on the search screen is closest to being a true representation of the original artwork ?  The Hold Your Fire search throws up hundreds of images in a wide variety of shades and hues, but without having the reference point of the original cover, who can say which is nearest the true image.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't Talk To Me About Love, Teenager

"Don't talk to me about love, teenager,
what do you know ?
You have been infant, and child,
faithfully loved and adored,
and now in the first rush of passion for one who is your equal in years,
you think you can tell me about love.

Though, truth to tell,
I do envy you that headlong dive,
the first surrendering of your still nascent self,
the giving of all that you are to another who is equally ill-equipped to receive it,
and yet so positive, so demonstrative,
for you this swirl of sex is love,
hard and beautiful as crystal,
and as easily shattered.

I have mended myself from that same breaking,
loved again, and discovered the love even more precious,
precarious, heartbreaking, fulfilling love of my own children.

Child, says my Grandfather, what do you know of love,
I love the men, dressed like me in uniform green,
who departed me and this life on the beach,
that bright and awful summer's day,
amidst the gunfire and the shells.

What do you know of love,
you who have not given your daughter to the keeping of another man,
or sat your grandchild on your knee,
or lived in the gentle companionship of your fading years,
to see your friends pass through that veil,
one by one,
'til you are the last one alive, head of the clan,
both revered and ignored,
I would tell you about love,
if you would just stop a while and listen." - Yorkshire Soul

This is the 2nd draft of this one, I'm still not entirely happy with it and as it is a longer free form poem than I have been writing I don't know if I am going to get it to a point where I am completely happy with it.  The first voice is any man of my age speaking to a teenager, the second voice has some echoes of my Grandfather and our relationship, but is is more informed by him than true to his character.

British Schools Becoming More Risk Averse

A person abseils down the crag.Image via WikipediaBritish bulldog 'vanishing from schools'

We played bulldog at school, and at cubs and scouts.  We went on long hikes up steep mountains, we did potholing, climbing, parascending and chess.  We read books and we went on cross country runs where we were out of sight of the teachers.  We built fires safely with the Scout leaders, and unsafely on our own.  We ran and vaulted walls and fences, and sometimes we fell and hurt ourselves but mostly we did not and we learned to judge what was safe and what was risky.

What we did though, through a process of trial and error, was to learn to understand and accept a certain level of risk in our lives.  As Scouts on a camp in the Lake District, we all understood that it was fairly dangerous to go scree bombing (running full tilt downhill on a loose scree slope), but at the same time it was all the more fun because of that edge of danger, and although Mike Lambert ended up in casualty getting stitches in a cut hand, the rest of us still did it again on the following day.

I have broken my hand by falling down a hill, I've injured my back and my knee when out hill walking, but I am 43 and in a lifetime of hiking these small hurts are far outweighed by the pleasure I have gained from day after day on the hills and peaks.  I solo walk, sometimes in weather conditions that some people would consider dangerous, but starting as a young child I was encouraged to learn the skills and gain the experiences that enable me now to judge the boundaries of what is safe for me and what is not.

Every time I go walking there is a risk that I could slip and injure myself, should this prevent me hiking ? Of course not.  There is a young girl in my town who is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from a climbing frame, should this mean that we ban climbing frames for children ? Absolutely not.  We need children to have a certain level of freedom and risk in their lives in order that they may make informed decisions for themselves as they grow up.

Of course it is painful for a parent to see their child hurt in any way, but the point of rearing children is that they eventually become adults, children mustn't become fearful and timid as adults, afraid of everything that contains a potential risk.  As adults you need to know that yes, breaking an arm is fairly painful, but 30 years on I cannot feel the pain, but I can remember that day we hiked up Whernside in the snow and slid and fell on our bums all the way down.  It was a risky and potentially dangerous day, but it was also great fun.
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Kevin Na finds trouble, cards a 16 in Round 1 of Valero Texas Open (2011)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fourfold Figurative Interpretation

"Our primary tool for reading literature – hermeneutics, the art if interpretation – was originally devised as a way of reading the Bible.  The Church Fathers taught the art of fourfold figural interpretation, in which the reader traces different strands of meaning: literal (historical), allegorical (higher, spiritual significance), tropological (the moral lesson), anagogical (to think of future and last things).  The flexibility of this interpretive art has made it possible to read religious texts in secular ways and vice-versa." - Jonathan Bate, author and Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at Warwick.

The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

"If I thought my reply were to one who could ever return to the world, this flame would shake no more; but since, if what I hear is true, none ever did return alive from this depth, I answer you without fear of infamy."
— Dante, Inferno
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . .
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all;
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet–and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."
. . . . .

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

[1915] T S Eliot
The apinting is Wyndham Lewis' protrait of T S Eliot.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

AV, It's Not Rocket Science

By Bela Lugosi's Dad over at b3ta.

That's An X In A Box, Not An X--Box, You Muppet

By Benito Vaselini over at b3ta

Vote Jordan

By Emvee over on b3ta

Peaceful Revolution

Official Presidential portrait of John F. Kenn...Image via Wikipedia"Those who make peaceful revolutions impossible make violent revolutions inevitable" - J F Kennedy

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The painting is the official Presidential portrait of J F Kennedy, painted in 1970 by Aaron Shikler.


"Death ! Ride, ride to ruin and the world's ending" - Eomer discovers the body of his sister Eowyn next to that of King Theodon. J R R Tolkien, The Lord Of The Rings

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm (Still) Not Dead

Oh dear, these sort of posts seemto be becoming an annual occurence.  Chef / Brother-in-law Mk.3 has gone and broken himself playing rugby (hard men's League version not soft lad's Union) and has had an operation which has left the poor lad with pins in his thumb and a cast. 

With an impeccable case of bad timing, Rob has manged to do this just at the point when the summer season here at the golf club really gets going.  We really want Rob to come back us healthy and well, and he needs a job to come back to, the result of which is I'm doing 7 day weeks + twin shifts somewhat earlier in the season than I expected to and I have put a panic call out to all the staff to cover Rob's work while he recovers. 

Thankfully Easter has fallen late this year so Rob C has stepped in during his university holiday to help out, and Fairly Friendly Fred is proving a great help as well.  The rest of the crew (Laura, Hannah, Ellie & Rachel) are pitching in as exams allow, and next week we are welcoming a newcomer to the crew, Calum, although Fred swear's he really called Lindsey.

Brother Rob in not broken mode

And my degree ? Well I'm still managing to read some pre-course material and I am working through some of the modules on OU Openlearn.  I thought when I began the degree that it would be really hard going, but that the only thing that could absolutely derail me would be my sous chef leaving / falling under a bus / being arrested for endangered animal smuggling, and lo and behold he goes and breaks himself.

So, for at least the next month, if you need to know where I am, I'll be either asleep or in the kitchen working, or perhaps option C) Gone mad and running naked across the moors.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Halifax Dubstep

Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer's World Cup Song

Therapy? - Screamager

The Luddite Threat

Cover of "The Making of the English Worki...
“I Ham going to inform you that there is Six Thousand men coming to you in Apral and then We Will go and blow Parlement house up and Blow up all afour hus.  Labring Peple Cant Stand it No Longer.  Dam all Such Roges as England governes but Never mind Ned lud when general nody and his harmey Comes We Will soon bring about the great Revolution and then all these great mens heads gose of.” – Anon. Luddite letter found in Chesterfield, about May 1812; Edward Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (1991 edn) p.784

There Are Mighty Energies Slumbering In These Masses

Duckworth Clough Mill, Haslingden, LancashireImage by mrrobertwade (wadey) via Flickr
“It is an aggregate of the masses…portentous and fearful…as of the slow rising and gradual swelling of an ocean which must, at some future and no distant time, bear all the elements of society aloft upon its bosom, and float them Heaven knows whither.  There are mighty energies slumbering in these masses.” W Cooke Taylor, Notes of a Tour in the Manufacturing Districts of Lancashire (1842) pp.4-6
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The Past Changes The Present, And The Present Changes The Past

A plaque at SOAS's Faber Building, 24 Russell ...
“No poet, no artist of any sort, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation, is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists.  You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead.  I mean this as a principle of aesthetic, not merely historical, criticism…what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it.  The existing monuments form an ideal order among themselves, which is modified by the introduction of the new (the really new) work of art among them…the past [is] altered by the present as much as the present is directed by the past.” – T S Eliot, Tradition and the Individual Talent, 1909

Danny Diplodocus

Diplodocus4Image via WikipediaDanny Diplodocus,
walking on Octopus,
Squishy ! He makes a fuss,
next time he'll get the bus.
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Two Poems On The Theft Of The Lead From Ilkley Library's Roof

The short one....

Water's pouring down the stacks,
it's dripping off the racks,
it's dryness that we lack,
it's soaked the paperbacks.

The long one...

I went to the library,
because all the books, on my shelf, I already have read,
to discover some thief, from the roof, has stolen the lead,
the rain has come in, and the fiction's all soggy,
the carpet in poetry has gotten quite boggy.
Over in Classics, the story's got worse,
there's a Dickens of a deluge, far more than in verse.
The Mill On The Floss has quite washed away,
the same fate has befallen Madame Bovary,
water pours down, it's cold, and I shiver,
A Dry White Season drifts down A Bend In The River,
Lady Chatterley's Lover has taken a ducking,
his mistress we know he'd rather be...
but while The Old Devils, in this flood, really can't cope,
Moby Dick, on the other hand, feels quite at home.
The water pouring in has filled up The Sea,
and The Sea, The Sea,
and The Old Man And The Sea,
and The Sea Of Fertility,
and many other books,
to subaqueous degree.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Kill Your Dog

Yes dog owners, now you can shoot your dog in the head when it craps on the pavement with the Povodkus gun leash.

Actually, when it comes to shooting things, let's just do away with the small band of moronic dog owners who collect their pet's excrement in a bag, and then throw the bag into the hedge / bushes / river, you people give pet owners a bad name.