Monday, 6 July 2009


What have this dress:

box topiary, and this poem:

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

by Louis MacNeice, got in common?

I don't know, myself, but I love them all.


PI said...

Thank goodness! If you don't know that lets me off the hook or I'd be up all night.
They all show some artistic skill don't they?

savannah said...

i read this earlier and the first thing that came to me then was voluptuous. now, the idea of this stayed with me during the day and started me thinking about the shapes and then the effect the words of the poem on the shape of my mouth as i read them outloud...softly, of course. anyway, thank you for the poem and for making me thing about something other than work! xoxoxo

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ yes, you're right, they do. I think I'm thinking about shape and form – the way artists take things that already exist and make something new of them. The dress is kind of potato sack meets prom frock, don't you think?

Savannah ~ Gosh, you're good! There are a lot of 'ooh' sounds in the poem, perhaps that's why I like it so much, and the dress is quite round and full, and traditional box topiary is also ball shaped. You're welcome re the poem, I've only just discovered Louis MacNeice and am a little infatuated at the moment, X

angryparsnip said...

I agree with Savannah word "voluptuous"
I see in each of those a barrier holding in or containing a softer shape or idea.

Coffee with Cathy said...

Me, too, Eryl! I think all these things are rich and sensory and multi-layered. Thanks so much for sharing and reminding us that inspiration is everywhere.

Eryl Shields said...

Parsnip ~ Mmm... I see what you mean. I'm glad I asked this question

Cathy ~ they are aren't they?

Dr Maroon said...

Christ I dunno Eryl, it's like a big old mollases sack and so's that godawful frock.

Eryl Shields said...

Doc ~ you don't like the frock? I was thinking that now I'm too old to do sexy (not wanting to look like a desperate divorcee) it would be perfect for occasions when a bit of effort is required.

Titus said...

Like dress, like poem. Unlike box topiary.

Dr Maroon said...

No Eryl I do not like that frock. In warm Scottish summers nothing beats a figure hugging large floral print that tantalises the bust and stops short of a slender ankle. It announces "We're off to a summer party".

The poem...

Kanani said...

The connection is creativity, expression, both done in a unique way.
Frankly, I'm not sure about the gathered potato sack, either!

Eryl Shields said...

Titus ~ I missed your launch today, for no other reason than I forgot (we have weekend guests, friends of my son's, and I must be a little off centre), I had been looking forward to it too, damn! I hope it went well.

I'm glad someone else likes the dress.

Doc ~ do you not like the poem either?

Kanani ~ you too? Drat!

Scarlet-Blue said...

Box topiary...? I think you skipped over this rather swiftly... it's not what I think it is, is it...?!

Eryl Shields said...

Scarlet ~ Erm... x

Dr Maroon said...

No Eryl I hate that poem.
I am a poet (keep it under your hat, a dose of the clap is more acceptable) so I can really see what she's trying to do. A good C+ for effort but she's pissing against Niagara.
And I do not like box topiary either. For a start it's proponents usually use privett, not box (sluggards) and it's an anal pastime when you think about it and as for Scarls' allusion I detest that too. I like nature in all its glory. Start tampering with that and all's lost (to prayer! To prayer! All's lost!)

Eryl Shields said...

You have a poet's temperament Doc, that's for sure: Dylan Thomas with a splash of Philip Larkin.

I'm never quite sure what people mean when they say something is 'anal', it's quite a common term now too so I hear it a lot and still I don't understand.

I only like nature when it's been tampered with, I suppose I'm old fashioned, I can't be doing with unfettered nature: all that pleasant green needs to be broken up with a few hybrid dahlias and the odd painted shed.