A seasonal sonnet (click the Play button below to hear the audio version): December Eleventh, chill and misty morning I sat with laptop, plagued with writer’s block Our semi-precious baubles hung, adorning The Christmas tree; I tried to write, ad hoc A verse to grace a card to greet the season But how could
… into the deep heart of English country, with country noises brushing the surface of a deeper silence. John Betjeman, ‘Back to the Railway Carriage’ A new sonnet, in celebration of both National Poetry Day just past and the everyday miracles surrounding me in my sequestered patch of Eden.
There are certain half-dreaming moods of mind in which we naturally steal away from noise and glare, and seek some quiet haunt where we may indulge our reveries and build our air castles undisturbed. Washington Irving From a favourite corner of my Sussex Garden, a daydream of 7001 Nights:
Hypnotized by the wings of the butterfly, and awed by the discovery of a terrible possibility in life, she sat for some time longer. When the butterfly flew away, she rose, and with her two books beneath her arm returned again, much as a soldier prepares for battle. Virginia Would, The Voyage Out I am
Through the sweltering and seemingly endless heatwave, and now in the cool, damp aftermath, I’ve been reading the short stories of Somerset Maugham, set in the South Sea islands. One of them, curiously you might think, put me in my mind of the Bradford of my boyhood. Hence this little film: I was struck, too,