Sunday 21 January 2018

Sunday 21st January 2018 - Poetry and Prose

Long time no write.

I've been plagued by general "under-the-weather-ness" since before Christmas. I've now discovered that I have probably been brewing a low grade infection since maybe October. I have regular blood tests to make sure that the various pills and potions I take aren't causing any problems... one of the things they check is my white blood cell count which has been slowly creeping up implying an infection. So I have been taking the antibiotics for a week now, and  I cancelled everything that could easily be cancelled on Thursday and Friday.

That means I have been spending quite a lot of time sitting around in bed, reading, or browsing on the internet, or dozing. The next couple of days are lighter than usual, so, hopefully, by the time I've finished the second box of antibiotics, whatever bugs had taken up residence will have been dealt with.

Meanwhile, I have discovered the poetry of U A Fanthorpe and Rainer Marie Rilke's 'Letters to a Young Poet'. And I'm trying to read 'A Far Cry From Kensington' by Muriel Spark but I can't continue past the first page until I have absorbed all its wonders.

I knew about U A Fanthorpe, in the sense that I had tripped across several of her popular poems and been very amused. Try the one about the damsel being rescued from the dragon which is about the picture at the top of this post. the picture.

But this poem, one, about the list of psychiatric patients for the next day's clinic is very poignant;

The List

Flawlessly typed, and spaced
At the proper intervals,
Serene and lordly, they pace
Along tomorrow’s list
Like giftbearers on a frieze.

In tranquil order, arrayed
With the basic human equipment -
A name, a time, a number -
They advance on the future.

Not more harmonious who pace
Holding a hawk, a fish, a jar
(The customary offerings),
Along the valley of the kings.

Tomorrow these names will turn nasty,
Senile, pregnant, late,
Handicapped, handcuffed, unhandy,
Muddled, moribund, mute,

Be stained by living. But here,
Orderly, equal, right,
On the edge of tomorrow, they pause
Like giftbearers on a frieze

With the proper offering,
A time, a number, a name.
I am the artist, the typist;
I did my best for them.
(from Side Effects, 1978)

And why can't I get past the first page of 'A Far Cry From Kensington'?

' ... I formed the habit of insomnia. Insomnia is not bad in itself. You can lie awake at night and think; the quality of insomnia depends entirely on what you decide to think of.  Can you decide to think?-Yes, you can. You can put your mind to anything most of the time....'

that needs some pondering before moving on. I still don't know anything about this person, except that she is talking about the past, and about now in the book.

Later on...  (I have managed to read a couple more pages!)

'.... if there's nothing wrong with you except fat, it is easy to get thin.Youbeat and drink the same as always , only half. If you are handed a plate of food, leave half; if you have to help yourself, take half...'

if only it were that easy. Oh, wait; she has advice on will power as well! Please excuse me from writing as I Need to Read!

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