In the blue room

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.


6 thoughts on “In the blue room

  1. Your room looks so lovely and home and so you. It makes me grin to hear you so happy. I’m loving reading your blog regularly, I missed your words I realise.

  2. I went to the same college as Randolph Stow – St George’s College at UWA. Apparently he was quite a character.

    Dad (who went there too) remembers him having a corroberee in his rooms – with a campfire.

    And when the city fathers decided to pull out the tall gums from Kings Park Road to replace them with rose bushes – he wrote an impassioned poem using the names of the roses to make his point.

  3. thanks miss curry-maker! nice to have you here. (and your blog is very nice too, i think it’s given me the secret to improving my chilli…)

    oh cellobella that’s wonderful!! i wish i could have met him. i guess i could still try to but he doesn’t have the reputation of being very friendly. i’m very proud of the associations i have with him too – he taught at both Adelaide (my old university) and Leeds, my current one. apparently he finished writing Tourmaline in Leeds, which is pretty cool.

  4. Lovely room Mel and I love the picture you were sent, it’s very peaceful somehow.

    I’ve just started to read Girl as Green as Elderflower and so far the language is beautiful.

    I go to Swansea next week to register to start my PhD I’m really excited now.

  5. dear meli,

    That is a room straight out of my dreams.

    Funnily enough, it is almost identical to the living room in The House Of Fionas…if I can locate a photo I have I’ll scan it. Same colour blue…

    all the best with your writing..sonds like it’s flowing quite nicely!

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