The Thought-Fox – Ted Hughes – Analysis

I once was introduced to Ted Hughes at what was then Roehampton Instute for Higher Education. Sadly he was well into his cups, so to speak and had nothing to say either to me or the fellow who had introduced me. Neverthless, he had a monumental presence.

my word in your ear

The Thought-Fox

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest: 
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star: 
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow 
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow 
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye, 
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox 
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

Ted Hughes (1930 - 1998)

This poem was included in ‘The…

View original post 835 more words


“Symphony of a Great City”

Most interesting and useful background to this unsettled period.

Architecture Here and There

Clip from film of three (?) Jewish men, one sporting Hitler moustache and a goatee. (YouTube)

This video of Berlin made in 1927 – halfway between World War I and World War II – by German filmmaker Walter Ruttman, takes viewers through a day in the life of the metropolis, from morning to noon to night. Every slice of German society from high to low is documented, clip by clip, with a sound track rising or falling in tempo with the upbeat or downbeat scenes rolling by. The colorization retains the feel of the historic black and white. A sense of foreboding overcasts much of the film, whether the scenes are happy or sad. I’ve never seen a more subtle evocation of an entire culture and society, and this portrait of the Weimar Republic heralds the coming storm without pity.

As the day opens, shots of a train, trackage and…

View original post 224 more words


Autumn Leaves 2

Adrian Stokes was a visitor to St Ives, wrote poetry and was analysed by Melanie Klein, herself. Some lovely seasonal paintings here.

The Eclectic Light Company

In the first of these two articles yesterday, I showed a series of paintings of the changing colours and fall of leaves in the autumn/fall. This concludes my selection, starting from after about 1890. It’s time for even more leaf-peeping.

blaupraterlandscape Tina Blau (1845–1916), Prater Gardens (date not known), oil on wood, 25.5 x 32 cm, Private collection. Wikimedia Commons.

The Austrian Post-Impressionist landscape painter Tina Blau painted her favourite park, Vienna’s Prater Gardens, as its trees were just starting to change colour one autumn, probably around 1890.

Claude Monet, The Three Trees, Autumn (1891) W1308, oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm, Private collection. WikiArt. Claude Monet (1840-1926), The Three Trees, Autumn (1891) W1308, oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm, Private collection. WikiArt.

Several of Monet’s series of paintings include the colours of autumn – here, the distinctive poplars sweeping alongside the River Epte, a few kilometers from his home at Giverny.

chaseoctober William Merritt Chase (1849–1916), October (c 1893), oil on canvas, 101.6 x 101.6 cm, Private…

View original post 879 more words


The Trees – Philip Larkin – Analysis

Larkin is doubtless a great poet and a huge influence on successors. I think U.A. Fanthorpe is among these. His politics and attitudes are quite a different matter. There is an underlying sadness in this poem relieved in the final line.

my word in your ear

The Trees

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In full grown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Philip Larkin (1922 – 1985)

It is spring in Canberra, so these words are very apt. And as it is now Australian spring so May translates to September.

S1 … I do like that second line of the first stanza – like something almost being said – it articulates that almost opening of buds and leaves and gives voice to the season; personifying. The last line of this stanza catches…

View original post 333 more words



Yeats, lovely Yeats


When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

View original post


What are unconcious biases and why do they matter for sustainability?

I think these points are very useful especially in relation to current motivation for tackling, for example Climate Change. Prevailing cynicism and manic denial are playing a disturbing role in U.K. politics at present.


A bias is something, that we believe to be true, but in reality it might not be. These biases can relate to our own perception – how we see ourselves and how we think to see ourselves. They can also relate to how we see the world around us in relation to ourselves and how we think to see it relation to ourselves.

Does our own reflection hold true to what we believe is true? Who we think we are , whether what we enjoy, follow or do holds as good or bad? And if not, would rather believe so?

Biases can be harmful, if they lead us to making false ideas or assumptions about ourselves and others, but also if they support prejudices or stereotypes. Think about not “looking young enough” to be a reporter, or too old to try out something that could bring joy to oneself. –…

View original post 854 more words


Calma malinconia / Still melancholy

Manuel Chiacchiararelli

“Non è questo un vero giorno d’autunno? Solo la calma malinconia che amo, che fa armonizzare la vita e la natura.”

“Is this not a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise.”

(George Eliot)

View original post


Castle Rampart, Brittany, France

Jacob Whitaker

Castle Rampart, Brittany, France

View original post


Crimson Forest, Hungary

Looks amazing- I wonder whereabouts in Hungary that is.

Nicholas Koch

Crimson Forest, Hungary

View original post

Penwith Poetry West Cornwall (and local history)

In memory of J.M.

A tall donnish schoolmaster enters the gate

only a little late, dismounts

with a certain characteristic style

steering between the other master’s cars

He holds both bars and stomps,

observed by some third form boys, behind

the staffroom, past the prefect’s den

and parks his velociped in the cycle shed.

Allons enfants! We foregather before him

in serried desks- pupils in pupitres.

and listen to his high voice entreating us

to sing a folk song about a peasant soup.

Pacing the long dias by the grand piano

he encouraged us to belt ’em out. Pronunciation

rather than grammar was his choice forte.

We embraced “Auprès de ma blonde

Qu’il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon.“, the

Marseillaise and Sous le pont d’avignon

The lyrics he swiftly chalked above

the staves on the board in the Music Room.

Thinking back, he may have been batered

by the War and tough times along

with the Chinese Inland Mission.

Appearing himself like a cross between Ho Chi Min

and Ezra Pound.

Even then I thought he may not

have fitted in with the other masters

being deemed eccentric he would not have minded

entirely blinded to such bourgeois mores.

“China Reconstructs” tucked under his arm

and head full of ideograms, I wonder

just what I might still learn from him now.

Humphry Davy School - Marnick Builders