I keep looking at the photos I took of hellebore flowers the other day and the only thought that comes to mind is about Byron swimming the Hellespont. Surely there should be some connection?
But, no. It seems that the Hellespont is the sea of Helle, who fell off a flying golden ram into the sea when trying to escape death with her twin brother Phrixus. Hellebore, on the other hand, although also derived from the Greek, combines ‘to injure’ and ‘food’.
Continue reading “the crimson petal”
I really thought that I would do better today and actually find something to write about, especially as it’s midsummer’s day.
It would have been my grandmother’s birthday and Grandpa always gave her a poetry book. But I have no new summer poetry and I’ve been too busy reading this weekend to do any real writing.
As the reading hasn’t all been for pleasure, I did slip out for a short walk this morning, so I will once more fall back on posting pictures instead.
Continue reading “reading not writing”
I went for a walk in the park the other morning before breakfast. It was early enough that the only other people out and about were dog-walkers and joggers.
The light wasn’t very special and the grass was decidedly damp. We have had some lovely weather recently, but also some tremendous storms, so I’m not sure the plants actually know what season it is, but there were still plenty of flowers and blossoms worth taking pictures of.
Continue reading “morning after”
They say that language shapes our view of the world: if we use sexist and bigoted language, it is difficult to avoid becoming sexist bigots and if we don’t have the words for a concept, we find it hard to understand.
Certainly my own experience of learning a second language revealed a different personality: I was free to say things I could never have said in my native English because the words and the grammar permitted it and because I came fresh to the new language with the opinions and ideas of an adult but with no personal attachment or aversion to the words.
Continue reading “the words we use”
There are things that we see and hear that are forgotten in a moment, and other things that stay with us for many, many years.
The things that stick with us can come from any number of different sources and, while some may be profoundly important and shape the way we see life from that moment onwards, others are as trivial as a phrase that continues to echo in memory or a scene from a TV programme that has no relevance to anything at all.
Continue reading “a sense of scale”
Years ago, I belonged to a mixed-genre writing group. I was one of the few members who primarily wrote poetry, so I was delighted when another poet – Don, an American university professor – settled in the city for a few months and started to attend meetings with his wife. (I can’t remember what she wrote; it may have been academic writing rather than creative.)
I’ve often thought that poets get short-changed at writing groups as they are expected to give feedback on all the other members’ work in a range of genres, but frequently get no useful comments about their poems.
Continue reading “a little background”
Recent posts seem to have been quite text heavy – somewhere around six or seven hundred words each for the last six posts. So perhaps it’s time to fall back on photos again, especially given the season and the fact we’ve had some decent weather and I’ve had a fair number of opportunities to take pictures.
Despite the fact that, as I write this, the church bells seem to be playing “deck the halls”, with the May trees in bloom and daisies – including these fluffy ornamental ones – growing thick and fast, I think summer must be very close.
Continue reading “more flowers, fewer words”