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Thread: what are you reading now?

  1. #3541
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    I've been reading a bit of Alexander Pope, and Antony Burgess's book about Joyce "Here Comes Everybody".

    The best thing I've read recently is "Verses on the death of Dr Swift" by Jonathan Swift

    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...-dr-swift-dspd


    St. John himself will scarce forbear
    To bite his pen, and drop a tear.
    The rest will give a shrug, and cry,
    "I'm sorry—but we all must die!"
    Indifference, clad in Wisdom's guise,
    All fortitude of mind supplies:
    For how can stony bowels melt
    In those who never pity felt?
    When we are lash'd, they kiss the rod,
    Resigning to the will of God.

    The fools, my juniors by a year,
    Are tortur'd with suspense and fear;
    Who wisely thought my age a screen,
    When death approach'd, to stand between:
    The screen remov'd, their hearts are trembling;
    They mourn for me without dissembling.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  2. #3542
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    In short I've regressed - from Victorian to Georgian.
    Last edited by Corpsey; 21-02-2020 at 10:47 PM.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  3. #3543
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    Quote Originally Posted by catalog View Post
    I believe so. It's a diary of him looking at peregrines I think. Not opened it yet. Werner Herzog recommendation.
    It's fantastic, much better than Werner Herzog (much as I love Aguirre)

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  5. #3544
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    Quote Originally Posted by catalog View Post
    I believe so. It's a diary of him looking at peregrines I think. Not opened it yet. Werner Herzog recommendation.
    i re-read it recently - it is distinctly odd but brilliant with it. I went for a bike ride round the Blackwater where he the book is set and was rewarded with my first sighting of a peregrine in quite some time, so i was doubly delighted.

  6. #3545
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    Made a start on it today. Good line on the opening page:

    'Detailed descriptions of landscape are tedious.'

    Yesmateniceonethankyou

  7. #3546
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    Would love to see a peregrine in the wild. I remember as a child when we were staying at my grandparents' house in Anglesey there was supposed to be one near the lighthouse at South Stack and I got up super early to go there with Dad and try and spot it... somehow managed to burn my thumb really badly on the cigarette lighter in the car and had to abort to go to hospital... not sure that I've ever made up for that.

    south-stack-lighthouse.jpg

  8. #3547
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    I don't think I've ever seen one either, but I was walking down my road the other day and saw a big bird in a sort of thicket and it had that bird of prey look so I thought it was a kestrel and imagined myself as Casper for a moment. The guy who wrote this book said he came to birdwatching late in life so maybe it's the thing to do now that good music is cancelled

  9. #3548
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    Quote Originally Posted by catalog View Post
    I don't think I've ever seen one either, but I was walking down my road the other day and saw a big bird in a sort of thicket and it had that bird of prey look so I thought it was a kestrel and imagined myself as Casper for a moment. The guy who wrote this book said he came to birdwatching late in life so maybe it's the thing to do now that good music is cancelled
    Kestrels are quite small though so maybe something more exciting.

  10. #3549
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    Funnily enough he's talking about peregrines Vs kestrels a bit and how peregrines will tolerate kestrels for a bit but then bully them out the way. Its good this book though, it's very complete, how he's analysing their movements and habits in a quite scientific (to him, not to any other authority) way and then he comes out with some poetry which he's reached through this quite matter of fact and dry analysis. It reminds me of moby dick more than anything else I've read, it has that same feeling of someone just observing in very minute detail what is going on in front of them so that the moments of clarity when they come are very powerful

  11. #3550

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    If yr in London there's lots of peregrines around nowadays. A pair live in the church on west Norwood high Street and they're always hanging out and easy to spot. Also one or two on Big Ben.

  12. #3551
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    Yeah I'm not unfortunately but I'll try and find some round here. Another nice thing about this book is that he uses no place names, it's all about the north or southeast side of the estuary or the rising hill etc. Clearly someone who has spent a good amount of time alone, making their own world yessireebob

  13. #3552
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    Here's a good line ending a section about different prey:

    "For a bird, there are only two sorts of bird: their own sort, and those that are dangerous. No others exist. The rest are just harmless objects, like stones, or trees, or men when they are dead."

    What an odd thing to say at the very end there! What's he really saying huh?

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