August 20th, 2008


Karma Police

Here is another excellent Life on Mars video. I am glad they are still being made. I had to link to it because it is to Karma Police by Radiohead, and it seems like a Radiohead video. It's a different show again from all the other videos I have seen.
breaking bad

Tennyson, Housman and Everything But the Girl

You might think this is ridiculously sentimental of me but I've always found that song 'Missing' by Everything but the Girl unbearably moving:
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I've never done that but I can imagine doing it. Travelling all day on the train, feeling stupidly impatient, arrive at the town of your youth (for me that would be Darlington but it doesn't matter) and then consummating all that waiting, by just walking past a house where someone used to live. Knowing it was futile all along.

I was reading In Memoriam by Tennyson, about his friend Arthur Hallam who died when they were both in their early twenties. Here's verse 7.
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So sad. The two poems remind me of each other that's all. There is something unique about the sort of lost love you have when you are young, and the memory of that love is like remembering your youth, with mingled pleasure and anguish. Housman also had a lifelong love like this. Here's a wonderful essay by Tom Stoppard about Housman's lost love. I read it two years ago and I have never blogged about it but I have often thought of it.
My dear Pollard,
Jackson died peacefully on Sunday night in hospital at Vancouver, where he had gone to be treated for anaemia, with which he had been ailing for some years. I had a letter from him on New Year's Day, which he ended by saying "goodbye". Now I can die myself: I could not have borne to leave him behind me in a world where anything might happen to him.

'I could not have borne to leave him behind me'. Housman is talking about as Stoppard puts it 'a retired colonial headmaster, 33 years married with grown-up children' who had not seen Housman for more than a few hours in the previous forty or fifty years. And Housman sustained that youthful love, and to me the suggestion is that it was like sustaining a heart wound.

I really recommend that article, it's one of the best I've ever read in the Guardian.
breaking bad

Michael Sheen

Talking about poetry, I'm listening at the moment to 'Great Poets of the Romantic Age' which is read by Michael Sheen. My god he is brilliant. In particular his reading of William Blake - wonderful.

I was listening to Augeries of Innocence on the way home yesterday, and Sheen read it with such conviction that there were tears falling from my eyes as I walked along. I was hoping nobody would come the other way and see. It's a difficult, staccato poem, and I wish I could let you hear how he did it.

Sheen will be playing Brian Clough in The Damned United which I am really looking forward to.