I sit in my blue room, with my grey bird for company, and I write. And read, and think. Today it is autumn, and the air is cold on my hands when I ride my bike. But mostly, there is the blue room, and the words. The words come slowly, or in bursts, and the chapter grows like a living thing. It grows slowly, every day. It will need pruning. It will need its tendrils to be tied to stakes. It demands constant attention. But it grows.
I’m having a lot of fun with Randolph Stow. These are my two favourite quotes from the articles I read about him:
‘He has (in a masculine way) some of Emily Bronte’s wildness.’
That one (written in the fifties, can you guess?) just cracks me up every time. I can’t remember who wrote it. I have to fit it into my chapter somehow.
‘…his poetic sense of language and absolutely certain ear for tonal effects – he has, it seems, the linguistic equivalent of perfect pitch – mean that . . . his work is never marred by over-writing.’
Bruce Clunies Ross.
That one, I think, is just true. You can hear it in his titles: Girl Green as Elderflower. You can hear it in the first page of Tourmaline. And you can hear it, most of all, in his poetry.
My mare turns back her ears
and hears the land she leaves
as grievous music.
I just love the assonance and the slow shifts of vowel sounds here, like some strange, tonal, grievous music.
I feel very calm. I am almost in my third year of my phd. Everyone warned me of the second year drought. Oh no, I thought, not me. But it was. But right now, it feels good. It feels purposeful. I am happy.