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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:13 am 
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"Mysterious Kôr' is one of my favourite short stories of all time, possibly the favourite.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:13 am 
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I am struck by the beautiful desolation of the description and by the sheer intensity of the moon's presence all through the story, lighting up the fragments - the unfinished or half destroyed, the abandoned or never begun - of both the physical and emotional landscape.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:04 am 
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Dawn's Game
by DF Lewis



In the old days, each day was indeed so old it could not recall anything with its failing memory.

The people who lived during those old days – like me – tried to help each day as it dawned by calling up for it our own memories that we believed led to the existence of a past. Of days even older. But each new old day would have none of it.

“That is the start of everything,” it claimed – pointing to the sunrise.

“Without a previous sunset to recall, there can be no sunrise to forget,” we said.

“This is the first sunrise – deal or no deal?” the day replied.

We all shrugged and said ‘deal’.
We were realistic, if not real.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:44 pm 
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:lol: Today is the first day of the rest of your life etc etc


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:57 pm 
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From 'Fictions', a story in Alice Munro's new collection 'Too Much Happiness.'

'How Are We To Live is the book's title. A collection of short stories, not a novel. This in itself is a disappointment. It seems to diminish the book's authority, making the author seem like somebody who is just hanging on to the gates of Literature, rather than safely settled inside.'

and

'You couldn't even be sure that she had recognised the title of her own story. You would think she had nothing to do with it. As if it was something she wriggled out of and left on the grass. And as for whatever was true, that the story had come from - why, she acted as if that was disposed of long before.'

Des - I think you would like this story!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:28 pm 
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From 'Fictions', a story in Alice Munro's new collection 'Too Much Happiness.'

'How Are We To Live is the book's title. A collection of short stories, not a novel. This in itself is a disappointment. It seems to diminish the book's authority, making the author seem like somebody who is just hanging on to the gates of Literature, rather than safely settled inside.'

and

'You couldn't even be sure that she had recognised the title of her own story. You would think she had nothing to do with it. As if it was something she wriggled out of and left on the grass. And as for whatever was true, that the story had come from - why, she acted as if that was disposed of long before.'

Des - I think you would like this story!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:59 pm 
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I think I'll love it twice.:)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Emma was the recently deceased Felix's mistress and Ginny his wife:

'A few days after the funeral, Emma went to the shrine at Walsingham. She was not sure why; her faith, if it still existed, was not something she displayed in public. But when you cannot cope with grief, she reasoned, you can do worse than observe the forms that have helped other people cope with it. At Felix's funeral the minister had said that, even in the depth of misery, the familiar forms of prayer can lift the heart towards Christian joy. Very well, Emma thought grimly, let's try it. Something is needed. For Ginny, there were undertakers. There was the question of probate. There was the business of organising Mrs. Gleave and the vol-au-vents. But for me there is nothing. An empty space. A lack of occupation. It is as if I have been told of a death that has taken place in a different country. It is as if I have no claim on sympathy, because I have heard of the death of a person my friends do not know. There is no body. There is no corpse. Just this absence, this feeling of something unfinished.'

Hilary Mantel 'A Change Of Climate'


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:28 pm 
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Inspired by Dawn's game on DEAL OR NO DEAL last february:

Dawn's Game

In the old days, each day was indeed so old it could not recall anything with its failing memory.

The people who lived during those old days – like me – tried to help each day as it dawned by calling up for it our own memories that we believed led to the existence of a past. Of days even older. But each new old day would have none of it.

“That is the start of everything,” it claimed – pointing to the sunrise.

“Without a previous sunset to recall, there can be no sunrise to forget,” we said.

“This is the first sunrise – deal or no deal?” the day replied.

We all shrugged and said ‘deal’.
We were realistic, if not real.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:33 pm 
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Why do I feel a little shudder at that line
'That is the start of everything'?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:59 pm 
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I've been working for years on this collection of quotes (a sheer orgy of them now on-line from link below)
==============

“Most of all the dead, from mortuaries, from under cataracts of rubble, made their anonymous presence – not as today’s dead but as yesterday’s living – felt through London. Uncounted, they continued to move in shoals through the city day, pervading everything to be seen or heard or felt with their torn-off senses, drawing on this tomorrow they had expected – for death cannot be so sudden as that.”
- Elizabeth Bowen from ‘The Heat of the Day’ (1949)

“Meantime, another war had peopled the world with another generation of the not-dead, overlapping and crowding the living’s senses still more with the senses left by unlived lives.”
– Elizabeth Bowen from ‘A World of Love’ (1954)

He never knew what happened – a cold, black pit with no bottom opened inside himself; a red-hot bellwire jagged up though him from the pit of his frozen belly to the caves of his eyes. Then the hot, gummy rush of tears, the convulsion of his features, the terrible, square grin he felt his mouth take all made him his own shameful and squalid enemy.
Elizabeth Bowen – From ‘Tears, Idle Tears’ 1941

Full moonlight drenched the city and searched it: there was not a niche left to stand in. The effect was remorseless: London looked like the moon’s capital – shallow, cratered, extinct.
Elizabeth Bowen – From ‘Mysterious Kôr’ 1944

It was a phenomenon of war-time city night that it brought out something provocative in the step of most modest women; Nature tapped out with the heels on the pavement an illicit semaphore. Alone was Louie in being almost never accosted; whatever it was was missing from her step; she walked, she strode, she bulked ahead through the dark with the sexless flat-footed nonchalance of a ten-year-old, only more heavily.
[...]The wall between the living and the living became less solid as the wall between the living and the dead thinned. In that September transparency people became transparent, only to be located by the just darker flicker of their hearts. [...]
Elizabeth Bowen (Heat of the Day 1949)

MORE ELIZABETH BOWEN QUOTES (A LOT MORE!):
http://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/201 ... -quotes-1/

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 Post subject: Poetry from prose
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Related to the topic of this thread is going one step further - actually creating finished poems from prose. The single rule is that obviously as little as possible should be changed, although rearranging the order of words and lines and omissions are more acceptable.

Here is a piece I took from a Guardian news report back in '95.


Jack Morgan


Stagnation becomes
The way in Hay, the juice
That makes the place go round

The young ones have fled
Leaving relics
Like any dying town

Leaving Morgan and
Mary living fields apart
Sister set from brother,

On Hills to the west
Without electricity or running
Water for their bother.



Mary has sheep; when
Not tending them
She walks across the fields

Pulling wool off wire.
Jack's worldly concession is
His radio; it yields

Music, talk, laughter.
The stove warms its batteries
But, after half an hour

When the working dies
Just the wind is left
Out in the trees, which pours

Black rain down entire,
His candle flickering
Poor embers of a fire.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:38 pm 
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Marion Arnott wrote:
On a lighter note, my favourite ever prose to poem:

Compiled by Susan Johnstone of the Glasgow Herald, from the speeches of Donald Rumsfeldt

The Situation
Things will not necessarily be continuous.
The fact that they are something other than perfectly continuous
Ought not to be characterised as a pause.
There will be some things that people see.
There will be some things that people don’t see.
And life goes on.

(Dept. of Defense briefing, Oct. 12, 2001)

The Unknown
As we know
There are known knowns
There are things we know we know
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say,
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don’t know we don’t know.

Clarity

I think what you’ll find
Whatever it is we do substantively
There will be near perfect clarity
As to what it is.
And it will be known
And it will be known to the Congress
And it will be known to you
Probably before we decide it
But it will be known.

Happenings

You’re going to be told lots of things
You get told things every day
That don’t happen.
It doesn’t seem to bother people that they don’t.
It’s printed in the Press
The world thinks all these things happen
They never happened.
Everyone is so eager to get the story
Before in fact the story’s there
That the world is constantly being fed
Things that haven’t happened.
All I can tell you is,
It hasn’t happened.
It’s going to happen.

(the last three – Dept. of Defense briefing, Feb. 28th, 2003)



That was interesting, Richard. Des is interested in this kind of transformation too. I wonder is your article had quite the same desolate sadness about it?

I've re-quoted my own fave prose- to- poem above. Still makes me laugh .


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 Post subject: Re: Poetic Prose
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:52 pm 
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From Hilary Mantel's 'Bring Up The Bodies'
Thomas Cromwell considers the danger to Thomas Wyatt in the meaning of the poems he wrote to Anne Boleyn:

When Wyatt writes, his lines fledge feathers, and unfolding this plumage, they dive below their meaning and skim above it. They tell us that the rules of power and the rules of war are the same, the art is to deceive, and you will deceive, and be deceived in your turn, whether you are an amabassador or a suitor. Now, if a man's subject is deception, you are deceived if you think you grasp his meaning. You close your hand as it flies away. A statute is written to entrap meaning, a poem to escape it. A quill, sharpened, can stir and rustle like the pinions of angels. Angels are messengers. They are creatures with a mind and a will. We do not know for a fact that their plumage is like the plumage of falcons, crows, peacocks. They hardly visit men nowadays. Though in Rome he knew a man, a turnspit in the papal kitchens, who had come face to face with an angel in a passage dripping with chill, in a sunken store room of the Vatican where Cardinals never tread; and people brought him drinks to make him talk about it. He said the angel's substance was heavy and smooth as marble, its expression distant and pitiless; its wings were carved from glass.

Brief commentary on Wyatt's work by Carol Rumens in the Guardian:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksbl ... omas-wyatt. This bit chimes with what Mantel says if less poetically:

Freedom of poetic expression for a Tudor courtier, even under less potentially incriminating circumstances, was hardly possible. The Petrarchan sonnet presented Wyatt with a matrix for revelation within concealment.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetic Prose
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:22 am 
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Marion, Hilary Mantel is talking about art and writing:

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats ... nters%20(1)&utm_content=

Have you ever been moved to tears or laughed out loud in front of a painting?

In this series of talks, you will hear three well-known authors explore how they have incorporated personal encounters and the emotional experience of art into their writing.

The series concludes with author Hilary Mantel

Thanks, Ray. I will listen in to the podcast when it's up. She was on TV recently talking about her writing - she really is very interesting.

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