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

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Fly on wall reports

BLOGGER’S RETREAT, yesterday. The Newport-Paddington leg of my inward journey lasted two hours, just time to write the following but without refurbishment.

To call him square as once a Frenchman did
Was slanderous - he had a baby’s lines.
His stomach made an unrestrained bid
To match his mango cheeks and, from the vines,
Sketched on his nose, hung sweetish rosebud lips.
Sine-curved, his textiled bulk and mincing hand
Moved primly on well-polished tripping tips
Proclaiming rosbif in an alien land.
And on his head a condign, bulbous crown
An overarching stroke to this cartoon,
A melon, bowler, derby, curved surround,
The perfect stigma for a male balloon.
Basil, a herb, a feature of Red Square
Deserves affection more than I can spare.

The subject is (was? – de mortuis…) a mutual acquaintance of fifty years ago and I was able to read the sonnet to Plutarch as the champagne was being opened. Afterwards, chicken bhuna, chicken korma, poppadums, several chutneys, two types of curried vegetable and a pint of Kingfisher each.

An agenda had been prepared (P’s reponses in italics): Is my delight in inserting multi-syllabic words in sonnet lines justifiable? (It’s old-fashioned.). I worry about my verse being unintentionally obscure. (Fight hard against this. Aim for clarity. And yet...) Can vivid scenes in the novel be used to disguise lack of plot momentum? (In a word, yes. But it depends on the vividness.)

Because I offered it hypothetically P spent some time on “Is it legitimate to parachute in a character for a single scene and not to refer to him/her again?” P gave a qualified yes but urged me to consider later indirect references. However a woman at an adjacent table, who’d been listening, said very firmly: “Yes, the author is king.”

Instead of going the short way (ie, over Waterloo Bridge) to the pub in Roupell Street we went down Fleet Street and examined the Blackfriars Bridge – Embankment intersection to check the geography of the most crucial scene in the novel. At Roupell Street, two pints of Breakspear each; discussed Lucy's prepositional infinitive. P gave me The Penguin Book of German Verse and lent me The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker.