Thursday, June 30, 2005

(with Trelawney)

in preparation for his centennial, novelist Anthony Powell's Curry Recipe (after re-reading the last 3 books of "A Dance to the Music of Time" (impulsively jammed into my bag at the very last second, devoured on arrival), I've started back at the beginning, an order not before attempted.)

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interview with Buck Downs

"kt: can you elaborate on why contributing to a publication is uniformly humdrum, perfunctory and gray?

DOWNS: I'm not sure if I can elaborate, and I think many if not most folks would disagree if I did. Getting published by someone else is kinda the gold standard for literary discrimination, right? I'm sure that my opinion gets read as some kind of sour grapes and/or blithering contrariness. But I would put it to anybody who writes poetry and is baffled or unhappy: stop sending poems to strangers who edit magazines; make a list of the friends & fellow poets you want to share with; send those people your poems, & expect nothing. If the results you get are half as gratifying as mine, you'll never go back. "

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Hornet Moth John Clare

The curious sphinx or moths of day
The curious only see
That gad--(nor wait the evening grey)
With butterfly & bee
One settled on this grassy blade
Betinged with yellow hue
& seemed in black & yellow shade
A hornet while it flew

Their wings like those that dance at eve
Are colorless & plain
But nature on their bodys leave
Wild hues of many a stain
& this wears yellow barrd wi brown
Wasps wear the very such
Tho this is spread wi merely down
That sullys at the touch
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a page of Donald Duck artist Don Rosa's special work for Finnish readers

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in an adaptation of the Kalevala, Donald Duck, or Aku Ankka

"It is no surprise that Donald Duck should be the Finnish favourite among the various Disney characters as he somewhat resembles the soldier Sven Dufva and the farmer Paavo, two epic characters of Finnish national poet J.L. Runeberg. Life is tough but one gets by. At work, for instance, Donald often finds himself in a desperate situation but he is always ready to meet any new challenge.

The Donald Duck 70th Anniversary Exhibition at the Poivolehti Museum introduces the house where Donald lives with his three nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. The exhibition assembles the furniture usually found in Donald's home: the armchair, round rug, book case, TV set and the nephews' three-layer bed. Over the years Donald Duck has introduced the Finns to several interesting details in the American way of life and American culture. [from the brochure in Finnish these 'interesting details' are: Santa Claus, apple pie, round metal garbage cans, round door handles and Television.] "

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great site for the Finnish epic "Kalevala" also has sound files for the dulcimer-like Kantele--

"Little Otso, woodland apple,
Honeypaw, you dear stout fellow,
When you hear this good man coming,
Hear me stepping softly near you,
Knot your claws up in your fur
And your teeth inside your gums
So that they can do no harm
Even when you're on the prowl.

"0 my bearkin, you my only,
Honeypaw, my little beauty,
Just lie down on turfy tussock,
Go to sleep on a lovely rock
Where the tall pines sway above you
And you hear the fir trees humming.
There, my Otso, roll about,
Twist and turn, my honeypaw
Like a hazel grouse on her nest,
Like a wild goose in her brooding."  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

from John Evelyn's Sylva--

"Of Pruning.

I. Pruning I call all purgation of Trees from what is superfluous. The Ancients found such benefit in Pruning, that they feign'd a Godess presided over it, as Arnobius tells us: And in truth, it is in the discreet performance of this Work that the Improvement of our Timber and Woods does as much consist as in any thing whatsoever. A skilful Planter should therefore be early at this work: Shall old Gratius give you Reason and Direction?

Nunquam sponte sua procerus ad aera termes

Exiit, inque ipsa curvantur stirpe geniste.

Ergo age luxuriam primo f_tusque nocenteis

Detrahe: frondosas gravat indulgentia silvas.

Post ubi proceris generosa stirpibus arbor

Se dederit, teretesque ferent ad sidera virge,

Stringe notas circum, & gemmanteis exige versus.

His, si quis vitium nociturus sufficit humor,

Visceribus fluit, & venas durabit inertes


And his incomparable Interpreter thus in English:

Twigs of themselves never rise strait and high.

And Under-Woods are bow'd as first they shoot.

Then prune the boughs; and Suckers from the root

Discharge. The leavy wood fond pity tires;

After, when with tall rods the tree aspires,

And the round staves to heaven advance their twigs,

Pluck all the buds, and strip off all the sprigs;

These issues vent what moisture still abound,

And the veins unimploy'd grow hard and sound.

2. For 'tis a misery to see how our fairest Trees are defac'd, and mangl'd by unskilful Wood-men, and mischievous Bordurers, who go always arm'd with short Hand-bills, hacking and chopping off all that somes in their way; by which our Trees are made full of knots, boils, cankers, and deform'd bunches, to their utter destruction: Good husbands should be asham'd of it. As much to be reprehended are those who either begin this work at unseasonable times, or so maim the poor branches, that either out of laziness, or want of skill, they leave most of them stubs, and instead of cutting the Arms and Branches close to the boale, hack them off a foot or two from the body of the Tree, by which means they become hollow and rotten, and are as so many conduits to receive the Rain and the Weather, which perishes them to the very head, deforming the whole Tree with many ugly botches, which shorten its life, and utterly marre the Timber.

3. By this Animadversion alone it were easie for an ingenious man to understand how Trees are to be govern'd; which is in a word, by cutting clean, smooth, and close, making the stroke upward, and with a sharp Bill, so as the weight of an untractable bough do not splice, and carry the bark with it, which is both dangerous and unsightly.

4. The proper season for this work is a little after the change in January:

_____ Tunc stringe comas, tunc brachia tonde:

_____ Tunc denique dura

Exerce Imperia, & ramos compesce fluenteis.

But this ought not to be too much in young Fruit-trees, after they once come to form a handsom head; in which period you should but only pare them over about March, to cover the stack the sooner, if the Tree be very choice: To the aged, this is plainly a renewing of their Youth, and an extraordinary refreshment: Besides, for Interlucation, exuberant branches, & spissae nemorum come, where the boughs grow too thick and are cumbersome, to let in the Sun and Air, this is of great importance."

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suggested subjects for painters and engravers, from John Aubrey's Natural History of Wiltshire--


1. From Newnton (Mr. Poole's garden-house) is an admirable prospect.
It takes in Malmesbury, &c. and terminates with the blew hills of
Salisbury plaines. 'Tis the best in Wiltshire.- Madam Estcourt, or
Earle of Kent.

2. From Colern Tower, or Marsfield downe, eastwards; which takes in
Bradstock Priory, several steeples and parkes, and extends to
Salisbury plaine. - D. of Beauford, or Marq. of Worcester.

3. From the garret at Easton Piers, a delicate prospect. - J. Aubrey.

4. From Bradstock Priory, over the rich green tuff-taffety vale to
Cyrencester, Malmesbury, Marsfield, Colern, Mendip-hills; and
Coteswold bounds the north horizon. - Earle of Abingdon.

5. From Bowdon Lodge, a noble prospect of the north part of Wilts. -
Hen. Baynton, Esq.

6. From Spy Park, westward. - Hen. Baynton, Esq.

7. From Westbury Hill to the vale below, northward. - Lord Norris.

8. From the south downe of the farme of Broad Chalke one sees over
Vernditch, Merton, and the New Forest, to the sea; and all the Isle of
Wight, and to Portland. - J. Aubrey. (Memorandum. A quarter of a mile
or lesse from hence is Knighton Ashes, which is a sea marke, which
came into this prospect. The Needles, at the west end of the Isle of
Wight, beare from it south and by east; but try its bearings exactly.)

9. From Knoll Hill, a vast prospect every way. - The Lord Weymouth.

10. From Cricklade Tower, a lovely vernall prospect. - Sir George
Hungerford, or Sir Stephen Fox. (This prospect is over the rich green
country to Marston-Mazy, Down-Ampney, Cyrencester, Minchinghampton,
and Coteswold.)

11. From the leads of Wilton House to Salisbury, Ivy-church, &c. - Sir
R. Sawyer, Attorney-Genl.

12. The prospect that I drew from Warren, above Farleigh-castle Parke;
and take another view in the parke. - Sir Edward Hungerford. (This
prospect of Farleigh is in my book A, at the end; with Mr. Anthony

13. The prospect of Malmesbury from the hill above Cowbridge. This I
have drawn."

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Monday, June 27, 2005

was recently pleased to meet Betty Smith, the great ballad singer and scholar. Her voice is remarkable; very light & small but possessed of a rigorously distanced "timeless" quality that defies analysis. The immersive-but-chilly affect of her "Psaltery Concert" album is closer to Nico's "Desertshore" than Joan Baez.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 26, 2005

"all the dopes he could drink"

(Sodom Laurel Album)

sip apple juice and icemelt
and icemelt and ice-
melt and icemelt and icemelt

sweet sweet sweet sweet tea
sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea
sweet sweet sweet sweet tea

peach Nehi over the Laurel falls, Cheerwine,
& the unnamed second best orange pop
ever after Narvik Mandarin Fanta

a tangerine kick
through undiagnosed veins
in black floaters

spelled your name
"Bonjour Tristesse"
when Jean Seberg's narration

moves from compromised
present to a blue 'scope past

impressive even
on pan 'n' scan VHS
for its unblinking

existentialist noonday,
no thirst therefore
no beverages till cocktails

at the casino, no picnics
not even the Sirkean
consolation of objects

just the stairs to the beach
a foreground agreement,
a narrow recession,

an unplugged record player
that had earlier spun
Georges Auric's 1958 pre-Shankar

version of teenage ambient
the kind someone might remember
in a narration

who'd suppressed
(as I this Yoo-hoo coloured river)
everything else.

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