A mosaic of letters

A mosaic of letters

Referring to the letters between Mary Delany and her beloved sister Anne, Molly Peacock aptly describes them as a paper mosaic, given that Mary more or less invented the art of collage. ‘In a way, Mary’s letters to Anne are a paper mosaick of days and weeks,...
On memorizing poetry

On memorizing poetry

A few years ago I wrote this piece on memorising poetry.  For World Poetry Day, I share it here in the hope it will encourage you to learn a poem by heart, if you don’t do so as a matter of course. I still memorise poems and regularly revisit those I...
Roiling poetry

Roiling poetry

Written by a poet, this suggests that poems aren’t written, but rather roil and form of their own volition. Having had moments of sensing that lines were being written not by but through me, I liked this elemental action of a poem in the making. ‘Something...
Poetry as connector

Poetry as connector

Since good poetry (good writing, for that matter) transcends time, I liked this phrase of Molly Peacock, a Canadian poet, that ‘poetry exists against time’, together with the ‘indiscriminate gusto’ it permits her in traversing poetic landscapes near and far, across...
Your chosen family

Your chosen family

Most readers, particularly those who make little distinction between the past and present in seeking their sustenance, will be able to think of people they would choose for their ‘literary family’ across millennia.   I love the image of imaginative mitochondria...
The art of living fully

The art of living fully

And how!   May you be ever inventive in living a full life. I will find some images that merit this quotation and make cards and posters. ‘Living a full life requires invention.’ Source: Molly Peacock, The Paper Garden (London: Bloomsbury, 2012), p....
Located and alive

Located and alive

What a great way to spend a day, a perfectly Daoist state. Hoping you can also take in the brilliant facts of the world by being located and alive. ‘She was calm, engaged, located, and alive. … able to begin to take in the brilliant facts of the world.’ Source: Molly...
Spirited innocence

Spirited innocence

Mary Delany lived at a time when most women, particularly of her class, were given anything but ‘full career’, yet she managed to carve out a great space in which to expand, and made that space available to others. She combined enormous generosity of spirit with...
Training

Training

Yet no amount of impeccable espaliering constrained her niece’s spirit. ‘Was determined to train her niece as impeccably as a gardener espaliering a fruit tree.’ Source: Molly Peacock, The Paper Garden (London: Bloomsbury, 2012), p....

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