I see my mind as a tapestry woven through with memories, dreams and thoughts.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sunday Snippet

In the run up to the end of October, Hallowe'en and the beginning of winter, Ifeel that it is appropriate to post this snippet from Shakespeare. The supernatural was very much a part of life in Shakespeare's time when science was not a part of 'everyman's' life and fear of the unknown was. Shakepeare used these beings and creatures to weave magic and suspense into his plays.

Here is one example:


Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In remembrance of a shroud.
Now is the time of night
That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the church-way paths to glide:
And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecate's team,
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.

'A Midsummer NIght's Dream': Act V, Scene 1

Friday, 28 October 2011

Sky Watch Friday

I thought that I would share two photographs from my recent trip to Newcastle. These are taken on the quayside and the first is the reflection of the sky in the windows of the building.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A Wednesday Wondering

Completely by coincidence, I opened a book 'Poem for the Day' at page 238 and found this piece from Shakespeare's Macbeth:

Act V Scene V

Macbeth. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.'

And as I have just read - and am re reading - 'The Sound and The Fury' by William Faulkner, I wondered and wondered whether this is from where his inspiration for the title came, because the title intrigues me and was a part, along with the cover, of the reason I picked up the book in the first place.

I know that some of you have studied the book and , whether you have or have not, I should like to read your thoughts.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sunday Snippet

I am returning to 'The Sound and the Fury' by William Faulkner.

I have finished reading the book and have had to immediately begin it again. Here is the snippet from a section 'June 2nd 1910'.

'This was where I saw the river for the last time, this morning, about here. I could feel water beyond the twilight, smell. When it bloomed in the spring and it rained the smell was everywhere you didn't notice it so much at other times but when it rained the smell began to come into the house at twilight either it would rain more at twilight or there was something in th light itself but it always smelled strongest then until I would lie in bed thinking when will it stop when will it stop. The draught in the door smelled of water, a damp steady breath. Sometimes I could put myself to sleep saying over and over until after the honeysuckle got all mixed up in the whole thing came to symbolize night and unrest I seemed to be lying neither asleep nor awake looking down a long corridor of grey half-light where all stable things had become shadowy paradoxical all I had done shadows all I had felt suffered taking visible form antic and perverse mocking without relevance inherent themselves with the denial of the significance they should have affirmed thinking I was I was not who was not was not who.

I could smell the curves of the river beyond the dusk and I saw the last light supine and tranquil upon tide-flats like pieces of a broken mirror .....'

I chose this piece for two reasons. The first is that it shows the continuous thought pattern that runs through the book but, also, because my main thought when reading was that it is as if a mirror holding a reflection had fallen and shattered and that it was my place, as the reader, to pick up and piece together the scattered shards.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Sky Watch Friday

The amazement here, for me, is that this is the island of Ibiza as seen from our hill ... but only on occasion is it visible. This is the best 'capture' of it that I have achieved, so far.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Tuesday Taster

These are the first two paragraphs of a book not yet published. Would you read on??

This is the routine. John gets dropped off at school, ten minutes before the bell, enough time for a quick game of football, which is the most important thing in his life. I walk on along the main road to the top of the village with my girls to call on my Mother. I do hope she has her happy head on today, makes me a cup of tea, and spoils her granddaughters for a wee while.
Some days this works well, some times we argue, and some days I don’t even get in the door. These variations in her tolerance levels depend on what gossip she’s heard about me during the week. I’ve been known to smoke in the street, forgotten to give John his packed lunch, or tried to sneak in late to Mass on Sunday. This last offence being mortally sinful in her eyes, on a par with armed robbery or assault. Mam and I have what is very trendily called a fragile relationship, a bit like a cracked mirror, ready to fall out the frame on any day.

Janette Skinner

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Sunday Snippet

I picked up this book to read on the flight home - 'The Sound and Fury' by William Faulkner - drawn firstly by the cover. I looked inside and decided to buy it.

My snippet is from the introduction and this is because I am still reading it and am hoping to experience the fog clearing 'in a flash'. I took this introduction to heart as I may well have been totally confused by now, but realise that this is a part of the book.

I defy an ordinary reader to disentangle the people and events concerned at a first reading. But the beauty of it is this; there is no need to disentangle anything. If one ceases to make the effort, one soon finds that this strange rigmarole holds one's attention on its own merits. Vague forms of people and events, apparently unrelated, loom out of the fog and disappear again. One is seeing the world through the eyes of an idiot: but so clever is Mr. Faulkner that, for the time being at least, one is content to do so.

With the second part the fog begins to clear. The narrator now is one of these vague figures, a brother Quentin, who committed suicide at Harvard in 1910: and he describes with a beautiful sense of tragedy and ironical farce his last day alive. With the third and fourth parts, which return to the present day, the fog rolls away altogether, the formless, sizeless, positionless shapes looming through it, condense to living people: the story quickens. It is here this curious method is finally justified: for one finds, in a flash, that one knows all about them, that one has understood more of Benjy's sound and fury than one had realised: the whole story becomes actual to one at a single moment. It is impossible to describe the effect produced, because it is unparalleled; the thoughtful reader must find it for himself.

Richard Hughes

I also thank all of you who followed the posts that I left until I came home. It is much appreciated and it was a joy to me to see and read your various comments. ¡Muchas gracias!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Saturday Snapshot

An Irish Session in full force ... and on the left of the picture, the amazing Robbie Walsh (All Ireland Bodhran Champion 2008-9) who graciously offered me a class with him whilst I was there. Wow, can he touch the bodhran!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Thursday Thought

Another poem - and apologies that I cannot leave comments until I return home next week.

This part of Ireland, when one moves from West Cork to Kerry, is beautiful, really beautiful:

Gale Symposium Over Derrynane Bay

To 'aark' of circling gulls rushes wind
in curves round the mountain
creating unforseen circumstances,

brushing dune's marram grass in divided waves
of torn emotion,

coursing shallows
disturbing memories of lost opportunity,

scales watery skin
of silver sea-snake estuary below
to stimulate writhing as it
glistens a path to waiting sea
beginning in circumspect the idea of change.

Urgently fierce now,
cry of gulls commands the elements
and rolling cloud opens rank
allowing dazzle of sun to illuminate
ridged, wet sand set in jig-saw loops
preventing puzzled sea-snake
in its bid for the Atlantic

while gulls rise on majestic fanfare of wind,
instrument of force and change

"Shed scales, shed skin - soar!"

Ann Sharples

Monday, 3 October 2011

Monday Muse

Here is the second poem which I promised:


Quietly working
shy smile
Carefully transcribing
letter for letter
word for word
sentence for sentence
from storybook to copy
until page for page
they match.

Beautiful work
conscientious student
engrossed in rhythm
curve by stroke
fullbellied to stark line
the pattern a written sampler
worked by Maggie the traveller.

Ann Sharples

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sunday Snippet

Still in 'Ireland frame of mind' (although I am now in England, visiting) I used to work with travellers and am leaving you this poem today and another on Monday:

Wash Day

"Cindy can't read
and that's a fact,"
says Cindy standing
out over the tub
washing away
the days at school
so different from
familiar days at home -
minding bairns,
sweeping out the trailer,
helping ma -
scrubbing fiercely at
each taunt, each cruel name,
each moment of discrimination,
confidence ebbing,
suds slopping
and sinking
into dark gravel;
"No, Cindy can't read."

Ann Sharples