Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Scratchy brisk rain irritable as tinder"

Regular readers will know of my fondness for these things. (It is the sort of thing I find easy to memorize, too; for instance, I will not easily forget that the bus from Innsbruck airport to the city stops at "Fischerhaeuslweg" and "Klinik," though I only rode it twice.) Here is the map in the original Norwegian (inter alia I am pleased to note that Norwegian for "brook" is cognate with "beck"). Here is a related old post.

Letters from (mostly children's) authors to kids. (Failing which, there's nothing but the wall / of public lavatories on which to scrawl.)

Peter McDonald reviews the new Geoffrey Hill books. I do not mean to direct you to the review, which is defensive and boring, just to cull a few quotes. (The books seem dreadful.) But here is Hill on Yeats: "Yeats with his clangour of despotic beauty." And there are these snippets:
‘Passchendaele’s chill mud at a gulp engorging | Men and redhot rashers of sizzling metal’ (XXXV), ‘long demolished | Iron bridges clamped over backstreet inlets | Tremor to footfalls’ (XXXVI),  ‘Bracken-guarded airfields where now the pigeons | Ponderous, wingladen, in near-botched take-offs, | Rattle the spinneys’ (XLII), ‘Glasstight black porter’ (XLIX)
And finally, a delightful stanza:
Broken that first kiss by the race to shelter,
Scratchy brisk rain irritable as tinder;
Hearing light thrum faintly the chords of laurel
Taller than we were.
(Cf. Bishop's moonlight, "hairy, scratchy, splintery" and Auden on being "taller today.")


Cecilia said...

I instantly recognized this map, but got very confused with the names. I'd always get off at "Big Thing" station. (Stortinget). And of course every line stops there.

Cecilia said...
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