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

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Caveat emptor

Sonnet – My written self

My written self takes to the boulevard,

No dozing couch, no thick-thumbed oyster eye,

No raddled failing sense of self-regard,

It smiles, is welcomed, waved to, seen as fly

My written self can help and sympathise

Unburdened by my masculinity,

Can speak with tongues and even improvise

A risky link with femininity.

My written self is sleek and plausible

A world aside from knobbled northern clay

Sneak-thieving, seeming quite adorable

But seeking love without intent to pay.

I am both things: the skills, if such they be,

Within the hulk of incapacity.

Last night: A modern piano - absolute yet unostentatious

virtuoso technique - a piece composed for just that instrument.

Yamaha, Stephen Hough, César Franck’s “Prelude, chorale and fugue." Turned mi backbone to jelly.

Novel progress 3/12/09. Ch.7: 333 words. Chs. 1 - 6: 28,702 words. Comment: Hatch in The Big Apple (make that Crab Apple).


Eleanor said...

I'm so glad I found your blog, and I adore this sonnet!

I thought of you today as I watched an ocean swimming competition held at my local beach.

marja-leena said...

I like this too - interesting concept, one's written self, with some concerns about masculinity/femininity :-)

Barrett Bonden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barrett Bonden said...

I'll try again later

Rouchswalwe said...

The only work of Franck's I am familiar with is his Sonata for Violin and Piano. I very much like the 1992 disc with Anne Akiko Meyers and Rohan De Silva. When I first heard it performed in Fukuoka in the late 80's though, I was affected for days.

herhimnbryn said...

Some of us like 'knobbled northern clay'!

Barrett Bonden said...

Eleanor: My apologies for expunging the comment; if you saw the original you could be alarmed, if you didn't see it even more alarmed. The usual thing: I'd just finished 1000 words of the novel and was due downstairs for din-din and rushed off something. I described the sonnet as "cynical and shallow" when I really meant the last two lines (ie, before the couplet) were cynical. Since these lines refer to the "unwritten me" or my actual physical manifestation I needed a chance to regroup yet loin of pork (oh my goodness) awaited. There are many unsatisfactory precedents for trying to explain verse and I should have left well alone.

Anyway welcome to this side of the world. I have taken the opportunity to flick through your blog and my original comment about swimming still stands. Against these daughters of Neptune I would have come in a distant last. My fastest time for a mile is about 52 minutes. I was also fascinated by the way your school required Xmas rather than Christmas for the reasons you gave. I'm a typical Brit. As T. S. Eliot said, in general Brits are irreligious but are endlessly fascinated by people who are religious. Should you continue to check out my blog you'll find that I'm sounder on motorbikes and physics than I am on verse (my preferred term for what I do). I only started the latter this year, more or less for a dare. Cheeers.

M-L: So how about the painted you?

RW (zS): Aha, so we're now into arm-wrestling over literary matters. The sonata you mention is one of the real-life contenders for the fictional Vinteuil sonata Proust refers to in "Remembrance..." An excellent apercu to toss out late into a Theakstone's evening. Alternatively, I could always listen to it which I will try and do.

HHB: That is a remarkably ambiguous observation.

Plutarch said...

I like the idea of the written self, but wonder about the potential of the self which is yet to be written and is being written now. The written self as it was only two or three years ago would not have produced a number of sonnets. Who knows what the unwritten self might produce in two or three years time?

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: This sonnet has an odd provenance. The idea came to me at about 6.30 am and I wrote the first quatrain in my head in bed. I went out to buy the Sunday paper came back and I'd finished it by 11 am. I know it's not for me to say, but the structure and the execution of the lines seemed satisfactory. But gradually the potential of the idea grew and I realised if I'd paused I might well have come up with a piece that was more flawed technically but which grasped more ambitiously at a theme I'd only touched on superficially. Alas, versifiers get no plaudits for ideas; two a penny. I could come back to it, as Julia recommended about that last sonnet describing a walk to Amersham fifty years ago. And the passage of time in this case justifies such a return. But I'm not sure it's as much fun.

herhimnbryn said...

Is it?

The Crow said...

I answered your recent comment at my place via email, using my private address. Couldn't get Gmail to work for me this morning. Look for something from Hotmail titled "Hello, from Martha"

Spadoman said...

Just stopped by. Hope all is well with you.


Julia said...

I like this as I also have a bolder written self than my home self, and my work self is in a different sphere of being altogether.

The Franck Sonata is a gorgeous piece. I work on it every now and then, but haven't found a pianist to play it with yet. I'll go find the Prelude now.

Barrett Bonden said...

Bolder, yes, but in my case more likeable, more generous, more helpful. And more articulate.

By the way, for reasons as yet unexplained younger daughter has switched from Kampa to La Dégustation. I understand it's OK but it makes me - as intermediary - seem a bit crass. My apologies.

Julia said...

I've heard La Degustation is a super place to try, and the best Czech food reviewer seems to agree: http://praguespoon.blogspot.com/2009/01/restaurant-review-la-dgustation-bohme.html

It doesn't have the view that Kampa has but it sounds like the food would be equally good, if not better! I'm looking forward to hearing her review.

Lucy said...

Yeah, well, I think we all feel a bit like that don't we? That's why we do it. Doesn't actually mean it's worth less, and I find it does seep out into the unwritten life a bit too.

Hard on yourself as ever. Love seeketh not to be paid for.

Interesting about the Vinteuil, I didn't know that.

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: As I said to Plutarch the division between the written and the actual self is much wider, more fascinating than this once-over-lightly bit. Julia advises it's possible to go back to veins that were insufficiently mined; dunno, but oh the possibilities.