This blog begins with a photograph of my workspace in Kent, followed by the opening lines of one of England's finest poems.
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
As you can see, John Keats was a romantic poet who was worried about his pen, because it couldn't keep up with his brain. Well, if he was worried, I've been going absolutely frantic, because my pen stopped doing any gleaning several months ago. And, truth be told, the brain hasn't been up to much teeming either...
Alas, the photo could have been a self-portrait, if only I had been my unusual prolific self, hammering away at the keyboard. But that was not to be.
Instead, what we see in my workspace is a total absence of any meaningful blogging activity. Yes, someone has switched on the table lamp and the computer has been powered up. But that's it, that's all - zilch, nix, nada, nowt else - a complete waste of electricity, you might say.
Well, I may be unseen in the photograph, but I am standing nearby, with camera still in hand, and I'm gazing out of the window up at the night sky...
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
I was pondering these plaintive words as dawn broke, and I watched an incoming North Sea tide rolling up the Thames Estuary. It was then that the bulb in the table lamp expired. It was as if it knew its services were no longer required.
So I replaced the old bulb with a new one. And I distinctly recollect my absent-mindedly tapping a few words on the computer keyboard before resuming my position by the window. Luckily, I still had the camera in hand to catch that moment in time.
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.
And that's the bit I've never quite understood - why is there a faery power in unreflecting love? And do you think the fake bougaenvillea looks a bit naff in my Kentish workspace?
1 year ago