That title, I have to say, has nothing whatever to do with today’s post: it just came to me in the middle of the night and I thought it would make a good title for a poetry collection. Not, probably, the one I am assembling at the moment for a competition:
nor the one I am re-doing as a pamphlet which already has a title (The Ballad of the Bowstring Bridge) – but possibly a slightly whimsical or political collection.
A propos of that, I had a rather nasty comment on this blog yesterday. Mostly commentators are polite, witty, respectful and interesting; but I do occasionally get the odd abusive comment. These will not be published – and I will usually suggest to the commentator that if they would like to make their point again without being rude or insulting, I will be happy to publish it.
But! onwards and upwards… for Tuesdays are concerned with prose, and I have begun a non-fiction work which is a memoir of forgetting. (LOL). If this sounds a bit paradoxical, it illustrates the paradox of my life for the last five years since hitting (or being hit by) menopause. I have forgotten everything: streets, routes, maps; people, people’s names, people’s children’s names; what I did yesterday, what everyone else did yesterday, what Katy did; what I watched last night, last week, last month – in short, my whole life is a continual forgetting.
I am interrupted by Mark asking if I can read Urdu.
‘Not in the slightest,’ I tell him. Then I think for a moment. ‘But I do know that the little dots are vowels,’ I say triumphantly.
‘No, they aren’t,’ he retorts.
See? I don’t even know what I know.
Aaaand back to the post… so, it’s quite helpful to me to be writing this memoir and if, when it’s done, I can publish it, it will hopefully be useful to others.
One thing I do remember from yesterday is that at Philosophy we talked about Descartes (or ‘Day-cart’ as everyone seems to call him.) My knowledge of Descartes was previously confined to one phrase – albeit in three different languages:
Cogito ergo sum
Je pense donc je suis
which of course in English means ‘I think therefore I am’.
Everyone knows that phrase. But what I didn’t know was everything else he thought about consciousness – and now I can’t tell you what that was without referring to my notes. Nope, I’ve looked and it’s too complicated to put on here.
Whilst we’re on the theme of prose, though, I was interested to hear that the winner this year of the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction was a biography of an Italian Fascist written in an experimental style. The SJ prize is not known for being avant-garde, so I think the likelihood is that the experimental style is highly successful, so I’d be interested to read it.
Must go now as I’m trying to listen to Grayson Perry and that is not conducive to blog-posting.