Sunday, 1 December 2019

Knossos

Dear Reader,

                                                                                           Knossos



We have a bird table outside the kitchen window which affords us much pleasure.  Before it was installed I thought birds just flew about all over the place with no particular agenda in mind.  But I have discovered that I was quite wrong.  Birds seem to have a very definite routine, our birds like eating between 7.30 am to 10 am and then they go AWOL until after lunch.  And different breeds have different social habits.  The most timid are the blue tits who swoop down to peck out a seed and then are off in a great hurry.  The goldfinches on the other hand fly down onto the perch, have a good look around and then start their pecking.  They might stay there for several minutes much to the annoyance of the coal tits and blue tits, and sometimes there is a fight between all of them.  Not being much of a one to watch the television I find watching birds an enormously enjoyable pastime.  If you haven't tried it do give it a go.

                                                                          *

Jane Austen wrote a letter to James Stanier Clarke on 11th December, 1815

'Dear Sir,

My "Emma' is now so near publication that I feel it right to assure you of my not having forgotten your kind recommendation of an early copy for Carlton House and that I have Mr. Murray's promise of its being sent to His Royal Highness, under cover to you, three previous to the work being really out.'

Later in this letter she hoped people would like Emma, but wasn't quite sure if they would.  Not as much anyway as 'Pride and Prejudice" and 'Mansfield Park'.  Gosh, if only she knew.  The sales of her books, I think, go into the millions. 

                                                                          *
Knossos was a very difficult poem to write.  I don't know quite whether it works but here it is anyway.


Knossos



It was hot,
a brilliant sun shone,
sky a bright blue.
We wandered
across ancient pathways
wild flowers abundant,
climbed over pink stone walls
marking Minoan burial sites
from a thousand years ago.

We separated and I found
tucked away,
a stark white room.
It was deathly cold and
I shivered violently.
A spirit seemed to envelop me
strangle me, clasp me round my neck.
Fearful I ran away screaming,
my heart pounding.

This was the room
I later learnt, 
used for a human sacrifice,
a young man's bones lying there
bearing witness.
                                                                            *

With very best wishes, Patricia

No comments: