Tuesday, 17 July 2007


One of the best things about the internet, in my view, is the opportunity it affords, each morning, to start the day by seeing a new picture, hearing new music, finding in the words of others a pertinent ‘thought for the day’. I rarely begin work before having browsed, for example, http://quotes.prolix.nu/ or http://www.glaced.digitalspace.net/ and had a look at the photos and paintings people have uploaded on http://www.artistbank.com/ or http://www.myartspace.com/ or http://www.artwanted.com/ . To squint at the world, briefly, through someone else’s eyes before getting down to the mundane stuff of one’s own daily toil . . . Does this merely illustrate a sad lack of self-sufficiency on my part, or do we all need a little daily inspiration?

I was looking wistfully at some photos of Inversnaid on http://www.artwanted.com/ , which perfectly evoked the wonderful poem of that name by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I learned his 'Pied Beauty' by heart at school when I was about eight.

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spáre, strange;
Whatever is fickle, frecklèd (who knows how?)
With swíft, slów; sweet, sóur; adázzle, dím;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is pást change:
Práise hím.

It was illustrated in the schools anthology by a woodcut of a pied wagtail, and it still springs to mind unbidden whenever I see one of those delightful little birds http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/p/piedwagtail/

Here's a good source of quotes: poets on poetry, from Blake to Bob Dylan: http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/poets_on_poetry.htm

And today's quote of the day: ‘Music is the silence between the notes.’ Claude Debussy

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