Month: December 2017

The Mumbles, Christmas Day

Now behind the eyes and secrets of the dreamers in the streets rocked to sleep by the sea, see the titbits and topsyturvies, bobs and buttontops, bags and bones, ash and rind and dandruff and nailparings, saliva and snowflakes and moulted feathers of dreams, the wrecks and sprats and shells and fishbones, whale-juice and moonshine and small salt fry dished up by the hidden sea. (Under Milk Wood – Dylan Thomas)

Some afterlives of the poets

More enduring than bronze now is this monument I have made, one to reach over the Pyramids’ regal heaps, one that no greedy devouring rain, that no blustering north wind nor the run of long years unnumbered nor ages’ flight can ruin. I’ll not die entirely, some principal part of me yet evading the great Goddess of Burials. (Ode III.30 – Horace, trans. John Hollander)

The millennium postponed (again)

Despite formidable obstacles, [Chávez] has proved it is possible to lead a popular, progressive government that breaks with neo-liberal dogma. Perhaps that is why he is so hated after all. (Owen Jones in the Independent 2012) The importance of Venezuela is that it shows that another way is possible. (Diane Abbott in an interview 2012) Innovative social programmes, experiments in direct democracy and success in bringing resources under public control offer lessons to anyone interested in social justice and new forms of socialist politics in the rest of the world. (Seumas Milne in the Guardian 2012) Thanks Hugo Chávez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world. (Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter 2013)

Dangerous visions

When she was brought thither and laid before the image of our Lady, her face was wonderfully disfigured, her tongue hanging out and her eyes being in a manner plucked out and laid upon her cheeks: and so, greatly disordered. Then there was a voice heard speaking within her belly, as it had been in a tun, her lips not greatly moving; she all that while continuing by the space of three hours in a trance. 
The which voice, when it told anything of the joys of heaven, it spake so sweetly and heavenly that every man was ravished with the hearing thereof. And contrary, when it told anything of hell, it spake so horribly and terribly that it put the hearers in a great fear. (From a letter written by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer to Archdeacon Nicholas Hawkins, 1533)