And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

lørdag 19. februar 2011

House of Solitudes

Platonic England, house of solitudes
rests in its laurels and its injured stone,
replete with complex fortunes that are gone,
beset by dynasties of moods and clouds.
- The Laurel Axe, Geoffrey Hill

Today I awoke to a grey-clad England with rain suspended in the opaque clouds as a threatening promise. It was one of those days when you don't leave the house unless you have business to attend to or find the weather poetic. For me both of these conditions applied, and I was constantly reminded of Geoffrey Hill's beautiful sonnet The Laurel Axe, particularly the section quoted in the epigraph.

I left the house in the afternoon heading for the post office through the museum gardens and decided afterwards to take a stroll through the Shambles and King's Square. By the Shambles I witnessed anarchy in the UK as I saw a black-dressed, huddled band of dispassionate anarchists marching down the street with flags and facial expressions matching the weather very nicely, followed by two sedate, helmeted policemen who didn't seem to expect much from them. Later I came upone them once again, emerging from a bakery with pasties in their hand, still seeming very dispassionate, as if they had realised theirs was a hopeless cause and then decided to abide with the establishment. Unfortunately, they did not want to be photographed.

The fog, a sheepdog circling, bared
its teeth from slavering hedges
at the dark, sheepskin-collared

stranger; then coldly it grew clear
as those green, lucent panes
of England
- A Change of Skin, Derek Walcott

  The Church of St. Olav.

In this year [1055] died Earl Siward at York, and he lies at Galmanho in the minster which he himself had built and consecrated in the name of God and Olaf.
- The Anglo Saxon Chronicle, C manuscript

 Platonic England, house of solitudes,
Rests in its laurels and its injured stone
- The Laurel Axe, Geoffrey Hill

Looke backe, who list, vnto the former ages,
And call to count, what is of them become:
- The Ruines of Time, Edmund Spenser

It stands, as though at ease with its own world,
the mannerly extortions, languid praise,
all that devotion long since bought and sold
- The Laurel Axe, Geoffrey Hill

To find the Western path,
Right thro' the Gates of Wrath
I urge my way
- Morning, William Blake

 The York Museum Observatory

mulch-black and brown leaves seethed
nourishing England. In an air
cold as iron, he freely breathed
- A Change of Skin, Derek Walcott

 Church currently housing the Jorvik Dig.

Our backyard.

2 kommentarer:

  1. Have you been inside St. Olaf's church yet, by the way?

  2. I have actually, and there will hopefully be a blogpost related to that in the not too distant future.