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Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
Saying that now you are not as you were
When you had changed from the one who was all to me,
But as at first, when our day was fair.
Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,
Standing as when I drew near to the town
Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,
Even to the original air-blue gown!
Or is it only the breeze, in its listlessness
Travelling across the wet mead to me here,
You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness,
Heard no more again far or near?
Thus I; faltering forward,
Leaves around me falling,
Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward,
And the woman calling.
(Thomas Hardy, The Voice, December 1912)
Once more the cauldron of the sun
Smears the bookcase with winy red,
And here my page is, and there my bed,
And the apple-tree shadows travel along.
Soon their intangible track will be run,
And dusk grows strong
And they have fled.
Yes: now the boiling ball is gone,
And I have wasted another day …
But wasted – wasted, do I say?
Is it a waste to have imaged one
Beyond the hills there, who, anon,
My great deeds done,
Will be mine alway?
(Thomas Hardy, The Sun on the Bookcase)
I wandered to a crude coast
Like a ghost;
Upon the hills I saw fires –
Seemingly – and heard breaking
Waves like distant cannonades that set the land shaking.
And so I never once guessed
Bowered and candle-lit, lay
In my way,
Till I found a hid hollow,
Where I burst on her my heart could not but follow.
(Thomas Hardy, The Discovery)
Now that it is all over until next year (!) here is a Christmassy poem by Tess Kincaid …
There’s a place for us,
an oasis between fruitcake
and watering the tree,
with hot-and-cold running kisses,
that stretch restless,
from the hearth
out to the snow,
where I push you back pink
knowing this smiling garland
around our necks
links forever compatible.
Woody Allen’s breakthrough movie; it won four Oscars (best picture, best actress, best director, best screenplay) and established Allen as a leading auteur film-maker. Thought by many critics to be Woody Allen’s magnum opus, Annie Hall confirmed that he had “completed the journey from comic to humorist, from comedy writer to wit, and from inventive moviemaker to creative artist” (Saturday Review).
(Taken from Real Cooking by Nigel Slater)
I love a banger. Mild, herby British butcher’s variety, blow-your-socks-off fennel and black pepper Italian ones, or thick wodges of black pudding. Love them all.
To be good, really good, a sausage must be hot and sticky. It must sport that tacky, savoury goo that you get when it has been cooked slowly. It must be sweet, savoury, gooey, chewy and all at once. And a sausage should always be eaten when slightly too hot – part of the joy of a banger is to toss it around in your mouth whilst making sucking and blowing noises. A tepid sausage is a friend to no one.
Sausage suppers, bangers and mash, or grilled black pudding with creamy mustard sauce, are cold-weather food of the first order. I can think of nothing I would rather come in to after raking the leaves on an autumn afternoon than slow-fried sausages and a mountain of mash. Sausage hotpot comes pretty close. Or a woman with huge tits peeling off her sweater … where was I? Yes! Big hot sausages!
At the risk of upsetting sausage fanciers I honestly think that the plain butcher’s sausage is a tastier affair than all these fancy links around at the moment.
Choosing a sausage is not that difficult. Choose ones that are meaty and moist-looking, and perhaps freckled with pepper and a few herbs. It is best to avoid the butcher’s effort at originality until you have tried their house brand, which may be very good indeed. Some butchers really know how to make a banger. If in doubt, just go for a plump, friendly-looking one – banger, that is.
Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.
This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say
it is sad? In one of the tenses I am singing
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.
La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine
the dark hills I would have to cross
to reach you. For I am in love with you and this
is what it is like or what it is like in words.
(Carol Ann Duffy, Words Wide Night)
Yet another goddamn poem by Tess Kincaid.
Somewhere along the line,
the big zero of time
was twisted at the waist,
to become an eight.
An hourglass of days,
slipping slow from the top,
then fast below the belt.
Is it providence,
or a lemniscate of fate?
I like to think of myself as verb
and not as object; chop-chop.
I wait the hours;
I empty my head of winter.
I am frightened
by other people’s fears,
but not of the eight,
an hourglass of days.
Why don’t people leave off being lovable
Or thinking they are lovable, or wanting to be lovable,
And be a bit elemental instead?
Since man is made up of the elements
Fire, and rain, and air, and live loam
And none of these is lovable
Man is lop-sided on the side of the angels.
I wish men would get back their balance among the elements
And be a bit more fiery, as incapable of telling lies
As fire is.
I wish they’d be true to their own variation, as water is,
Which goes through all the stages of steam and stream and ice
Without losing its head.
I am sick of lovable people,
Somehow they are a lie.
(D.H. Lawrence, Elemental)