Archives for posts with tag: writers
Nyx, Night Goddess by Gustave Moreau (1880)

Gustave Moreau [Public domain], “Nyx, Night Goddess” (1880) via Wikimedia Commons

It was yesterday, on the 6th Jan. coincidentally, when I was glancing over the books in a charity shop that I saw a softback copy of “Nemesis” on the shelf above me.

(As a Hobbit goddess, I sometimes construct the world in terms of the dimensions of where things are in relation to my immediate reach.)

I recalled both this poem and my own reading of the novel a year ago (albeit in a smaller hardback version, borrowed from the library). The poem imagines diary entries transcribed by author Philip Roth as he converses with the ‘moonlit sylph’ who inspires the young woman and love interest in the novel.

All this synchronicity surprised me a little when I came to preparing today’s archive post.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years. Contributor: Voyager.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Contributor: Voyager. This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

Interestinggg, my muse of the nimble-feet
that you decided to delete
the last cord of our communication:
a cue of ‘moving on’ or sullen irritation?

Interestinggg, my fascination locus,
that whatever swung your focus
– “in some shit” you did mention –
erased your previous courteous attention.

You didn’t say good-bye; you neglected an adieu.
You think the alliance is yours to abjure?
Time knows, you were in London for one purpose:
to serve then, as now, as subject of my verse.


Be wary of befriending any writer, poet, songwriter, artist or playwright. We are bound by the Faustian deal of creative work to turn life experiences into art. This can be awkward if you decide to no longer be on speaking terms with us.

On the plus side, you may find yourself immortalised in ways you’d never have imagined.

Realise that copyright also remains with the artist.

Consider yourself warned.

T: @BeadedQuill
F: BeadedQuill
Books by BeadedQuill

During the last two months of 2013 I entered a reading glut. It had taken me much of the year to finish the two Orhan Pamuk novel’s Snow (2004) and The Black Book (1994/ 2006). A friend even commented over the summer that perhaps I was deliberately taking my time with Snow because I was enjoying it so much. My plan was to follow through with as many Pamuk titles as I could find, but by November I had lost steam. This current spell has been, I suspect, an eager indulgence in alternative territory. I needed the voices and fascinations of other authors.

I  turned to non-fiction about art. My reading included The Girl in the Green Dress (2012), Carola Hicks’s thoroughly researched and entertaining account of the history and mystery of the Arnolfini portrait. I also picked up Hanging Man (2013), an account by journalist Barnaby Martin of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s time spent in detention.

Over the 2013 Christmas week I read Toni Morrison’s, The Color Purple, (1983) Rose Tremain’s Music and Silence (1999) and started Philip Roth’s Nemesis (2010). I have now left polio-infected Newark, New Jersey and am back in Istanbul of 1975 with Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence (2008). It may be another couple of months before I finish this 532-page exploration of obsession.

Most of these were borrowed from my local library. The Color Purple was a greedy borrow off the bookshelf of family with whom I spent Christmas. Yes, I am that sort of guest who will burrow through your titles and disappear into a comfy corner chair with one of them. In my younger youth I spent a New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles devouring Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale over making drunken conversation. Since then, I have learnt to be a little bit more acceptably sociable. This year I played Bananagrams and charades, which included book titles as a category.

At present I seldom buy books, but with a Christmas windfall I purchased Lewis Hyde’s The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World (1983). I had been dipping into it at Waterstone’s during lunchtimes anyway. So, it’s Pamuk again and The Gift as I go into January 2014. In the interim, here is today’s creative endeavour. Like Leo’s Entries, this poem imagines an author’s externalised log of thoughts about the characters he might feature in a novel.

Philip’s Log: Entries about my moonlit sylph

Log, entry #1

I have met 
an elfin creature, tanned
with dark curls
that caress the collar 
of her polo-shirt.
She is the counsellor at 
a children’s summer-camp
in the mountains. But to this log
I must account that I am a
serious and respected 
author. Elfin creatures
with small breasts 
are not enough for 
quality novels.

Log, entry #2

I have found a solution. I shall
introduce my sylph 
to a duty-bound, athletic fellow.
Regrettably he has poor eyesight,
so cannot be drafted.
It’s 1944 and the summer 
heat is unbearable.
Yes, they’ll take off their
clothes, but here must be
some weighty themes, too.

Log, update

Agent called. New novel well
received; a potential prize shortlist.
Ah, my waif
it is a good thing there are
the bigger questions of
God and duty, epidemics,
fairness and despair,
life’s capriciousness and death.
They allowed my protagonist
the summer darkness and
an island dense with silver birches.

There you asked him
to undress you.

The sylph of “Philip’s Log” is drawn from the protagonist Bucky Cantor’s love interest, Marcia Steinberg, in Roth’s novel, Nemesis (2010).


My books of poetry are available for preview and purchase. Click on the titles to view:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

BeadedQuill is on Twitter (@BeadedQuill) and Facebook. Please join my followers!