Tag Archives: memory

In Memory of Violet May, Order and Method and a Lesser Known Poet.

I have a compulsion to rearrange our books, I would not go as far as to say it was a disorder but it is a desire to bring some sort of order to what has all the appearance of chaos.

The dilemma I have is do I catalogue them in alphabetical order, by author or should Dorothy L Sayers creation Lord Peter Wimsey sit dust jacket to dust jacket next to Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

Now there is a thought I could follow the great Belgian detective’s principles and arrange them in order of size.

If this all seems rather indecisive I am not completely without resolve in that I have separated the poets, not on the top shelve as some would wish, on the understanding that poetry is one of the highest forms of art but on a dedicated shelve next to the fire-place, ideal for the likes of Dante’s Inferno.

There are always some surprises in familiar stanzas by Wordsworth, Keats or Clare and even more in less familiar  as Auden, Spender or Smith.

As I placed each with the care owing on its rightful shelve position I came across a newspaper cutting from the early nineteen eighties nestled between Dryden and Eliot. It was written in nineteen seventy nine in memory of a lovely lady who was called to meet her maker in May of that year and was written by the author of these ramblings.

MAY TWENTY FITHH
I looked at you today,
And cursed the evil pen
That wrltes with twisted hand
The lines of pain upon your face.
Sleep on, druggrd sleep.
I know you think of those
Even through your pain,
That never had the time to share
From their seasonal warmth.
Sleep on.
But merciful is the Lord,
The flame you carried high,
Was from His lamp.
Sleep on today,
Tomorrow we will meet,
Sleep on today.
MAY THIRTIETH

J. P. Miller


W B Yeats, The Kinks and Natural Recall

June 16, 2011_Cambridgeshire-1612_001

I have a confession to make that I am having a great deal of difficulty remembering the events of a week ago not to mention that yesterday can have all the appearance of a complete blur

There are certain elements that always have a tendency to stand out, the appointment with the optician who recommends an increase in bifocal strength so I can read the news that the cost of living is increasing on the hour every hour, the unexpected meeting with a friend who tactfully informs me that my hair is whiter (not grey) than the last time we meet and the all important doctors consultation where he advises you when complaining about the pain in your left ankle on wet september mornings “what else can you expect at your time of life” I would hate to contemplate what his reaction would be to my memory crisis?

I have been taking comfort from the fact that my recall cannot be that severe as I can vividly recount every scrape and abrasion I received to my elbows and knees fifty years ago not to mention the long ever ending warm summer days strolling in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens or the tree-lined paths of The Meadows with the strains of Ray Davis escaping from open windows.

Perhaps I should reach a conclusion that this phenomenon is not a softening of the grey matter but a mechanism to cope with the realities of everyday living, the momentum of a headlong rush to reach a undefined destination in time or maybe I should bow to the inevitable.

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

W. B. Yeats