Monthly Archives: May 2013

Padam, Padam: Edith Piaf

Cet air qui m’obsède jour et nuit Cet air n’est pas né d’aujourd’hui Il vient d’aussi loin que je viens Traîné par cent mille musiciens Un jour cet air me rendra folle Cent fois j’ai voulu dire pourquoi Mais il … Continue reading

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Hollywood: Noel Coward

Hollywood is a place where some people lie on the beach and look up at the stars, whereas other people lie on the stars and look down at the beach. Noel Coward Interview with Walter Harris in 1960 reported in … Continue reading

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The Old Ships: James Elroy Flecker

I have seen old ships sail like swans asleep Beyond the village which men still call Tyre, With leaden age o’ercargoed, dipping deep For Famagusta and the hidden sun That rings black Cyprus with a lake of fire; And all … Continue reading

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Appetite: François Rabelais

L’appetit vient en mangeant [The appetite grows by eating] François Rabelais 1494-c1553 Gargantua et Pantagruel (1534) 1.v In the context, ‘appetite’ means appetite for food. The truth of this is recognised by gastronomy – what else are appetisers, but food … Continue reading

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Omniscience And Omnipotence: Punch Joke

Bishop: Who is it that sees and hears all we do, and before whom even I am but as a crushed worm? Page: The Missus, my Lord. Punch, 1880 vol 79 p 63 The illustration is Mrs Proudie, the bishop’s … Continue reading

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Waltzing Matilda

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong Under the shade of a coolabah tree, And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled “You’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me” Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda “You’ll come a-Waltzing … Continue reading

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Vertical And Horizontal Men: W H Auden

Let us honour if we can The vertical man Though we value none But the horizontal one. W H Auden Poems The image is: Tomb effigy of George Snygge, died 11 November 1617, w:St Stephen’s Church, Bristol via Wikimedia

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How Beastly The Bourgeois Is : D H Lawrence

How beastly the bourgeois is especially the male of the species— Presentable, eminently presentable— shall I make you a present of him? Isn’t he handsome? Isn’t he healthy? Isn’t he a fine specimen? Doesn’t he look the fresh clean Englishman, … Continue reading

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Caricature: George Santayana

All caricature need not be unkind; it may be tender, or even sublime. The distortion, the single emphasis, the extreme simplification  may reveal a soul which rhetoric and self-love had hidden in a false personality. The absurd is the naked … Continue reading

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Gossiping: Francesco Guicciardini

Impart to no one what you would not have all know. For some men are moved to tattle by various motives – some through folly, some for gain, some from an empty desire to be thought knowing. Francesco Guicciardini 1483-1540 … Continue reading

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