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Week 8: 9 – 15 November

No blog this week owing to what the late, great Hunter S. Thompson would describe as “bad craziness” at work, which has resulted in a certain amount of excrement-fan interaction.

Normal service will (hopefully) be resumed next week.

In the meantime, here is one of my favourite poems by Ted Hughes, from his strange late collection of poems called “Gaudete”. Arising out of a screenplay (never filmed) it tells the story of a repressed northern clergyman abducted to another world to heal a wounded earth-goddess, while meanwhile a nature spirit is sent to take his place in this world. The nature spirit acts true to itself and gets several local women pregnant until it is hunted down and killed by the men of the village. In the epilogue the original clergyman returns transformed in Ireland, and leaves behind a collection of poems. These poems are the heart of the book, frequently incomprehensible, ugly and tender, violent and beautiful, concerned with the man’s new-found dedication to discovering a relationship with nature, and – or – the goddess. Only someone who was a master of his craft could write with such deceptive simplicity, I think. There’s no title.

Every day the world gets simply
Bigger and bigger

And smaller and smaller

Every day the world gets more
And more beautiful

And uglier and uglier.

Your comings get closer
Your goings get worse.

2 comments to Week 8: 9 – 15 November

  • Gordon

    Or then there’s the one that goes:

    At the bottom of the Arctic sea, they say.

    Or “Terrible as an army with banners.”

    If I wait, I am a castle
    Built with blocks of pain.

    If I set out
    A kayak stitched with pain.

    (“Lumb”, from Moortown p.148)

    (I never said he was cheerful…)