Thursday, 3 October 2013

Wuthering Heights Response

The wild wind whirls
but nothing moves
The heather remains still

Does the wind whirl only in my head?

The haggard hand hurtles
but nothing moves
The window clasped shut

Does the man even move in his bed?

The shriek shatters silence
But nothing moves
The house fails to answer the call

Does the anwer remain unsaid?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The chimes of the clock in the background begin to fade and she wonders casually whether that is because she is moving further away or because she stopped listening...

Lamplight is not necessary in summer;

The warmth of the air fills the spaces

where the light should be

But we feel little darkness

The steps under her feet are uneven but she pays little attention; like the calls of the hourglass in the cathedral behind these are familiar to her now. She knows where the crevasses fall, where she needs to take a slightly longer step to avoid getting caught between the steps; where to move to left and right to ensure that she continues at the same steady pace.

Wool and fur are not necessary in summer;

the warmth of the air fills the spaces

even the animals shed their coats

But we feel little cold

The water that passes under the bridge sings a soft but recurring refrain that mimics her steps. Lost in thought she fails to notice the clear echoes. But he doesn't. Watching he wonders if she has ever noticed the water as she passes by; he knows she has never noticed him.


I think it is difficult to argue that I have had one very specific dream from an early age - unless you count getting to write with Shakespeare and even I have come to realise that this is unlikely to happen now. However, given the focus on dreaming that we all have as one of the defining characteristics of our adolescence, I do believe there is some value in the concept.

It is too simplistic to say 'Oh! I just want to be happy.' Tempting but too simplistic because the concept of happiness is subjective and individual. I also think it too easy to respond with 'I want to be adored', because in all honesty we all want that too; presumably the value of adoration is also tied to the esteem in which we hold the person adoring us. So what is my dream? Or perhaps, what have been my dreams?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

National Poetry Day

Luxurious warmth imbued

From the sparks of the Inglenook fire.

The heavy, heated, handsome furniture

Betrays his new epicurean hand,

Miles from our halcyon days:

The quintessential champagne slows to

The fragility of the falling gossamer.

I want to impress, to sparkle, to surprise

But here, at his party, in his place,

Inhabited by the esoteric circle from which I feel

Geometric exclusion,

I remain the loquacious but eloquent missive,

Whom everyone has learnt to ignore.

What do I do here?

I wonder.

Why is the concubine here?

Their identical porcelain eyes enquire.

Oh! And then an epiphany!

This room is but a palimpsest

In which the truth is hidden

in the penumbra just beneath.

I feel ethereal

Not anything but a ripple

Yet I see the snapping of the

glanourous gossamer

And the rhapsody begins.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Graham Greene

The sense of unhappiness is so much easier to convey than that of happiness; in misery we seem aware of our own existence. The sense of achievement, however, remains much greater with the former. This consciousness of ourselves makes anything more valued, makes anything more important. However, I do not want to value depression or misery, however alive it makes me feel. I would accept the innocence of happy naivety; the carelessness of ignorant bliss despite, or maybe because of, the emptiness that is incorporated within it.

I've never understood why people yearn for the creativity that allegedly comes from the morbid and the dark - perhaps it is easier to evoke ideas from the shadows than the light because they suggest possibility and not truth; because they suggest the unknown and the uncertain. That possibility never really exists in a smile?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Woman in the Shadows

Lettice Knollys was the cousin of Elizabeth I - as is perhaps obvious by the portrait above. Born a couple of years after her more famous cousin, Lettice is the forgotten woman of Tudor History despite her influence on two of the most important characters at Elizabeth's court.

Those familiar with the writing of Philippa Gregory and the TV show 'The Tudors' will be aware of Mary Boelyn nee Carey, sister of the unfortunate queen Anne (Elizabeth's mother.) Mary had a daughter called Catherine Carey, who later married Francis Knollys and gave birth to Lettice. However, it was not her closeness to Elizabeth that gave her influence. In fact it was, as often the case in Tudor history, her relationship with Robert Dudley and Robert Deverux - the two English suitors to gain the affection of the virgin queen.

Deverux was actually Lettice's son by her first husband, Walter (Earl of Essex.) He was executed in 1601 after an ill fated rebellion, ruined in part by his inability to decide what to wear! However, previous to this he had been Elizabeth's favourite in her later years. Her choice in earlier years though had fallen on Robert Dudley, the queen's childhood friend from their time in the tower and as many believe her true love. Dudley however received scorn and temporary banishment from court for his choice of Lettice as a second wife.

The point of this historical summary? Lettice Knollys is difficult to find information on and is only a footnote for most historians of the Tudor Court. I have always felt that there is far more to Lettice's role and appeal than what is commonly accepted and I intend to do keep looking for the women in the shadows.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

In thoughts of you...

The unlit candles flicker behind me, they shimmer in and out of the reflection in the window as the sun comes and goes. I watch. The pale net curtains flutter, a draft from somewhere in the space behind me. The image of the candlestick is blurred and then settles. I watch.

The glass in my hand is cold, crisp, fragrant. Through it I see the darkness of my stockings, they are soft, new, freshly applied to my newly moisturised legs. My hair, still wet, is beginning to curl upon the soft fabric of my dress, The sharpness of my heel was a deliberate contrast to this as was the white throw covering the chair on which I sit. I like contrasts. I like the sharpness of opposites. I like the definitiveness of it. White and black; dark or light; hot or cold; he loves me – he hates me…I watch.

The only noise comes from the traffic below. I hear the people getting in and out of bright yellow taxis, asking for exciting destinations full of hope or anxiety or uncertainty. I hear the feet on the tarmac, the slam of the doors, sometimes even the insincere sound of familial greeting. I realise to my own surprise that I always watched this and yet never noticed it before. The buzz, the noise, the people. I’ve never seen any of them the way I see the distorted details of the glass in my hand reflected in the bars of my perspective. I watch.