muninnhuginn: (Default)
So, after an abortive search for an old piece of calligraphy I did based round the Verlaine "Quatrain" and in a week where I was dealing with arranging translations at work, I fell to thinking about attempting a translation myself.

Et voilà:

That was Tuesday. But all the next day there was something bugging me. Here's the Wednesday amendment:

Reads better, even if "smile" might be seen as weaker (and less accurate) than "laugh".

(Also on Wednesday, I started another knitted skull, which became Saturday's effort.)
muninnhuginn: (Default)
Busy week--and electricians at work on the house. (We still don't have enough sockets but the number of extension leads has diminished.)

Monday, I did this:
Skull silhouette on text background (!Quatrain" by Paul Verlaine)
The text is a poem (a long-time favourite) by Paul Verlaine, which set me thinking....


Aug. 14th, 2016 07:40 pm
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)

I don't it seems just get musical earworms. Sometimes I get speech. Yes, my very own voices in my head!
Although it could be argued that the current one——most likely counts as something close to music. It replays with Mitchell's delivery and intonation. And has been on repeat for about a fortnight.

muninnhuginn: (Default)

Elle jouait avec sa chatte,
Et c'était merveille de voir
La main blanche et la blanche patte
S'ébattre dans l'ombre du soir.
Elle cachait - la scélérate ! -
Sous ces mitaines de fil noir
Ses meurtriers ongles d'agate,
Coupants et clairs comme un rasoir.
L'autre aussi faisait la sucrée
Et rentrait sa griffe acérée,
Mais le diable n'y perdait rien...
Et dans le boudoir où, sonore,
Tintait son rire aérien,
Brillaient quatre points de phosphore.

 Paul Verlaine

[ profile] hobbitblue suggested this. Pass it on.


[here's hoping for preservation of accents during posting]

muninnhuginn: (Default)

Canine puzzlement illuminating loss: Hiding

Another ostensibly.simple verse (do I like my poetry simple? sometimes), with bald statements, almost entirely objective description. It's the action, all those active verbs in the simple present tense vividly conjuring the dog's activities. The lists of actions especially give an urgent energetic feel. The changes in tense are interesting too: the two in the past--finite and not continuous--bookend all but the opening line, containing all that present action.

What's not said, of course, is what the poet feels about the loss. Nor are these feelings transferred to the dog: it's a very doggy dog, no anthropomorphism here. Yet the structure and the present business point up the stillness of absence.

A beaut.

muninnhuginn: (Default)

... Andrew Motion's contemporary nursery rhyme, "The Man".

Mother! Mother! Why's that man
Behind us on the bus?
Sssh my darling, look away
And he won't look at us.

Mother! Mother! Why's his face
So angry and so cold?
Sssh my darling, never mind
And do as you are told.

Mother! Mother! Why's that clock
Tick-tocking on his chest?
Sssh my darling, take my hand
It's just the way he's dressed.

Mother! Mother! Why's the world
No longer passing by?
Sssh my darling, come with me
It's time we said good-bye.

This appeared in The Grauniad's Are you sitting comfortably?

It's superb. There's a historic particularity, which I often feel in the generality of a nursery rhyme. It's got the right language, the right use of repetition, and the right rhythm for a nursery rhyme. What I think marks it out is the handling of the final line of each stanza, the first three almost plonkingly pedestrian and exactly what a mother would say (I know I've said at least one of them), the final one just as banal but, with the double import of that goodbye--the commonplace au revoir and a fatal, final adieu--utterly shocking.

Wow. [with tears in my eyes]

Having failed previously to memetically post a poem--having thought variously of Milligan's "String" and Auden's "Shield of Achilles" and nowt in between--this is now my contribution.

muninnhuginn: (Default)

when Brain Patten wrote "I've found a small dragon in the woodshed" we're not sure he meant like this.


I've found a small Drache in the garage.
Think it must have come from the Kaiser's collection
because it's damp and gold and memories
of Rhinemaidens pool its eyes

I fed it on many things, tried Sauerkraut,
Bratwurst, shredded rejection slips,
but it hissed at me about its need
for royalties I cannot provide

It swam around its narrow bowl,
Sealed, unlike a goldfish's,
it is out of the limelight here
and is hungry for fame

If you believed in me I would have sent post haste
My manusript to your house to let you publish my oeuvre
but I want instead my hoax
to sell you more copies.



Dec. 31st, 2003 07:45 pm
muninnhuginn: (Default)

Teetered from a brink
Their slick, slim fall suspended
Winter stilettoed.

Not sure it in any way redeems four unproductive months. But there it is.


Mar. 31st, 2003 11:52 pm
muninnhuginn: (Default)

Not done one since the autumn. So a haiku in honour of the currently clement weather (and its inevitable feline consequences):

Outside wind-blown drifts
Thaw; indoors moulted fur piles.
Time for the spring clean.

muninnhuginn: (Default)

Carapace bursts, lights
Spill bead-strung across the blue.
Dull snails draw in horns.

muninnhuginn: (Default)

[I don't do horoscopes, don't believe in some intervening hand of fate, but I can't avoid sometimes falling into the trap of reading more into coincidence.... Hell, it hits the mood.]

Today's Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is revenant.

[And to add to the cheer...]

This Other Autumn

Dog piss laps lamp posts
That tick 'til dusk sodiums.
Dust dry leaves skitter.

I'm sorry, not much of a Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness here.

muninnhuginn: (Default)

I'm onto a loser pastiching/parodying (more the former, I believe) Wendy Cope of all people.

Still, it could be the sum total...


I used 2 thnk tXt msgs moronic--
Gr8 4 the immature, the asi9, & tw@s.
& thN I sNt a few. Yet it's iconic
I used 2 thnk tXt msgs moronic.
Smileys adorn a 4m th@'s Mbryonic:
Vwls omitted; digits, ampers&s and @s.
I used 2 thnk tXt msgs moronic--
Gr8 4 the immature, the asi9, & tw@s.

Based on Wendy Cope's Triolet which begins "I used to think all poets were Byronic" and to which I'd put a link if I could find a legitimate one: the poet cares about copyright (link courtesy of Neil Gaiman's journal way back in April sometime).

I didn't manage to use every single digit in the piece either, which I'd sort of hoped to do.


muninnhuginn: (Default)

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