Clarissa Upchurch: Houghton Hall, conte on gesso paper
Hot, short and all too long days. This is my one day at home in many, too many to count. Tomorrow to chair a meeting at the university then straight down to London to introduce Paul Muldoon and then say something on behalf of the PBS at the Eliot Summer School that has been fully illuminated by luminaries of both poetic and scholarly persuasions. The days after they are jaunting to Little Gidding and to Burnt Norton. I myself will be in Chepstow reading with Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, whom I have heard read as guest for the Arvon Foundation.
I am no fan of heat. I go with Frost on this one;
Some say the world will end in fire;.
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice
Desire and hate? All I know is heat makes me sluggish in brain and nerve and muscle. R and H had spent the night with us and I dropped them at Wymondham station so they should get a train to Norwich, thence back to London. Within quarter of an hour of leaving them H called. Their train - hence their connection - had disappeared into thin air along with the sign on the electronic sign board. So out with the car again and dash up to Norwich, just in time to catch the train that, presumably, did leave on time. Then into Becket's Chapel to help Clarissa (see picture above) tidy and clear wine glasses etc from the opening of her exhibition. The rest of the time busily correcting proofs of The Burning of the Books and Other Poems, just ready.
Ronnie Biggs, train robber story on radio this morning. I'm for letting him go. Mere vengefulness to keep him in prison in feeble old age. Currently he's in the local hospital with practically no mechanical parts of him working. Jack Straw. With a name like that he'd burn easy enough if it grew much hotter.