Thursday, July 09, 2009

A century after Swinburne

If Swinburne’s two abiding memories of Eton were Greek prosody and the flogging block, is it surprising that he should have become both a masochist and a master-metrician?

review of  ‘The Age of Wonder’ by Richard Holmes
Much of the book is also devoted to Humphry Davy, whose reputation is multifaceted. He wrote poetry; he had lively friendships with some of the best-known writers of his day; he invented a lamp that would prevent methane gas from exploding and save the lives of countless miners. Best immortalized here, though, are Davy’s experiments with nitrous oxide, tests in which he eagerly served as guinea pig. Inhaling that substance gave him “a thrilling all over me most exquisitely pleasurable,” he recorded. “I said to myself I was born to benefit the world by my great talents...”

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Orcadian fiddle music survives
in the high arctic

the last latticed leaf
of the HBC's

imperial tree, after
& century & a half the

viking stream
reduced to a trickle

& the rigid tripartite
of the reels stretched like ragas

the better to suit
the long dances

of mid-summer,
loosening by tallow light

in knotted leather.

Monday, July 06, 2009

information about a new edition of Basil Bunting's Briggflatts
which has a CD & a DVD enclosed; they've posted a big bit of the DVD as well...