Saturday, June 25, 2022

Letters of Basil Bunting. edited by Alex Niven

 Excited to finally get my hands on a copy of this. So far very impressed by Niven's editing, not everyone can do footnotes or annotations but so far his have been everything they need to be and nothing more.  

I'm  looking forward to reading several of these letter which i've only seen quoted with the inevitable critical ...

More to follow.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Gavel Lindrop on the excellence of Charles WIlliams' Arthurian Poetry


A lecture on Youtube, Gavel Lindrop's excellent consideration of the merits of Charles Williams' Arthurian poetry. He makes a case for Williams' stature as a poet, and for his important contribution to the Arthurian story.

It's a beautiful example of a critical intelligence in the service of the poet. It feels 'old fashioned' in the best of ways, rather than the critic using the poem as the starting point for a performance, the critic is trying to explain to an audience why a poet he admires is worthy
of their attention.  

Monday, June 6, 2022

Publication: The story of Vortigern, Chapter seven.

Chapter Seven brings part one to a close.   You can read it by clicking on the link below. (The first picture above shows an Anglo-Saxon building reconstructed at the Experimental Archeology site at West Stow. The second shows looms in one of the buildings.)

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Dumbing down Sir Thomas Malory's Morte D'Arthur.

This is from the publisher's summary for the Audible audio book version of Le Morte D'Arthur read by Chris MacDonnell and published by Spoken realms. 

It has to be a candidate for the title of 'Dumbest reading of the book' or 'How to misrepresent a book in a desperate attempt to attract readers'.

To the modern eye, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have many similarities to our own contemporary super-heroes. Equipped with magical powers, enchanted swords, super-strength, and countless villains to take on, they protect the weak and innocent and adhere to their own code of honor. Comparing Batman, Superman, and Captain America to Sir Launcelot, Sir Tristram, and Sir Galahad isn't a huge leap of the imagination.

Perhaps, for the 15th century reader, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were the equivalent of our modern day Justice League or Avengers.

There are so many things wrong with this description of the Morte and its readers that I wonder if the person who wrote it had read the book or knew anything about the fifteenth century.

It may not be a huge leap of the imagination to compare Captain America and Sir Galahad but it's a leap away from anything meaningful in the book.

Comparing Batman and Sir Lancelot is like comparing Napoleon and Brigitte Bardot: they have many similarities: they were both French, they both had hands, feet, a mouth and eyes.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Billy Mills reviews Maurice Scully's 'Things That Happen'

 As much as i love 'Things that Happen' I find it very difficult to say anything intelligent about it.

But you could read an excellent review by Billy Mills if you follow the link below:

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Review of 'Ghost Passage' by Josephine Balmer and 'A Country Without Names' by Martin Anderson

My review of Josephine Balmer's 'Ghost Passage' and Martin Anderson's 'A Country Without Names' is up at Long Poem Magazine. Clicking on the link below will take you to Long Poem's website.

Two fine books of poems, though very different in their approach to 'History'. 

 Review of Ghost Passage and A Country with Names

Friday, April 1, 2022

T.s. Eliot's 'The Waste Land'...almost a hundred years old...

 If joyce can have Blooms day, then Eliot should have his day and what better than April 1st?

The Waste Land

                                  FOR EZRA POUND
                                IL MIGLIOR FABBRO

              I. The Burial of the Dead

  April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

I read the whole thing for the Poetry Voice swings....