Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 3 July 2009

High price for hating soccer

Since nature is incipient, so is gardening. But in different ways. Again I write with fire in my belly.

A decade ago our house was on the rim of the estate near where children played soccer. The house side would have been an inviting goal had not the developer planted a small hedge of spiny pyracanthus which hindered ball retrieval. This pleased me since I loathe soccer in all its manifestations. However, the hedge is now over 2 m tall and I add pyracanthus to my list of antipathies.

The hedge grows sideways as well as up and I must protect those who use the pavement (US: sidewalk). Pruning has become ever more demanding as my collection of dedicated tools shows. Once conventional shears, secateurs and impenetrable gloves were enough. Then the branches started getting thicker and I needed a more powerful snipper. To compensate for increasing height and thickness I bought shears with telescopic arms. My most recent acquisition, powered shears, works more quickly but is lamentably heavy to use. And to reach the most remote sprouts on top I need my neighbour’s cord-operated cutter with its fishing rod handle.

It was about 30 deg C yesterday when I attacked the hedge. As I sweated my thoughts were full of soccer, The Brothers Karamazov, spiny branches, Mrs Thatcher and all wine based on the gamay grape.

TWO QUERIES: (1) Why is kohl rabi, so similar in texture and application to turnip, so much better to eat? (2) Are some subjects beyond the scope of versifying? – a proposition I am worriedly trying to resolve.


Sir Hugh said...

I feel the same about soccer, but when I analyse my thoughts I realise that it isn't a bad game to watch. The problem is with the people who play and their administrators. Arguing with the ref., faking fouls, being illiterate and practically incapable of any reasoned speech, and above all chewing wads of gum as big as golf balls, all these things conspire to provide the opposite of the kind of role models we might desire for our children, ninety nine point nine percent of which idolise this garbage.

If the morality of the game was reversed it would go a long way to solving our woeful social problems.

The Crow said...

Poetry can be written about anything that stirs our hearts and souls, catches our eyes, strikes our fancies.

I found a new (to me) poet this morning you might like to read: http://inthroughthebackdoor.blogspot.com/


Julia said...

The gamay grape?

Pyracanthus I, too, dislike it. (To paraphrase Marianne Moore).

Barrett Bonden said...

Sir Hugh: "It isn't a bad game to watch." Perhaps. But all those dreadful associations, which you so eloquently list, means you end up viewing a Rembrandt framed in a plastic toilet seat. Better to ditch the whole thing.

The Crow: The subject in question has stirred my heart, absorbed my time, robbed my pocket and frequently made me guilty of poncifying. Extending over a period forty years. Big for me, but can that bigness be communicated?

Julia: You don't often ask me questions. I'm flattered. The gamay grape is the basis of Beaujolais and the deservedly lesser known reds from the upper Loire. Its fans refer to its fresh, summery appeal; in my case I cannot rid myself of the suggestion of a special kind of flat rottenness. Dying celery, perhaps. Thanks for the verb. sap. Marianne Moore nudge.

Plutarch said...

Sir Hugh is right. There is nothing wrong with the game. But even spectators can be pretty loathsome. The Crow is right too. It's not the the subject that matters, it is what and how much you feel about it. Kohl rab,like the turnip is related to the cabbage. My guess is that because its root takes shape above rather than below the ground, kohl rabi tastes that bit sweeter.

I would swap your hedge for mine any day.

Avus said...

"Dying celery" - that will be a new one for the wine connoisseurs and a change from "hint of oak bark with ripe blackberries"