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Edna St. Vincent Millay

Posted 12-22-2010 at 09:56 AM by Steve Bucknell
I pick up Edna at Rare and Racy: Wine From These Grapes. Hamish Hamilton. 90 Great Russell Street, London.1934 Very plain jacket, but with soft rich pages beautifully cut and printed. Eight pounds! I hurry her home. She gives me this poem for my book of the winter:

How Naked, How Without a Wall

How naked, how without a wall
Against the wind and the sharp sleet,
He fares at night, that fares at all
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Posted 12-21-2010 at 03:40 PM by Steve Bucknell
In honour of the winter solstice and the lunar eclipse, (unseen but very strange pink/red hues in the dawn sky) this thirteenth century poem from the anthology Medieval English Lyrics edited by R.T.Davies Faber and Faber.1963.
The prose version is my own guesswork.

The Man in the Moon

Mon in the mone stond and strit;
On his bot-forke his burthen he bereth.
It is muche wonder that he na down slit—
For doute leste he falle...
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Stevie Smith

Posted 12-20-2010 at 03:58 PM by Steve Bucknell
Updated 01-29-2011 at 02:48 PM by Steve Bucknell
I like this early poem by Stevie Smith, a typical mixture of melancholy and cheesy oddity, difficult to paraphrase or interpret. Her poetry and novels have moved in and out of fashion since their first publication. Her poetry remains delightfully sui generis.

Night-Time In The Cemetery

The funeral paths are hung with snow
About the graves the mourners go
To think of those who lie below.
The churchyard pales are black against...
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Jeremy Taylor

Posted 12-19-2010 at 03:13 PM by Steve Bucknell
Updated 02-01-2011 at 04:10 PM by Steve Bucknell
The robin waits as I pour hot water into the birdbath, slowly melting the ice. For most of this day I think there won’t be any quote to continue this book of the winter, then I find this passage in my 1850 W.Pickering copy of Taylor’s Holy Dying, and the phrase “they dwell upon ice” finds a place here.

Holy Dying

Man never hath one day to himself of entire peace from the things of this world; but either something troubles him, or nothing satisfies...
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Don Van Vliet

Posted 12-18-2010 at 04:34 AM by Steve Bucknell
Updated 01-18-2011 at 02:16 PM by Steve Bucknell
This morning snatches of Moonlight on Vermont ring out across the snow, across the frozen reservoirs , the stilled airports and stalled motorways of the U.K. The BBC Radio Four news marks the passing of Captain Beefheart , adopted as one of our own, loved here for his humour, his originality and his failure to find conventional success. Cherished by the beloved John Peel and a generation of musicians and writers and bedroom dreamers. He still comes rumbling through our petrified forest.
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