The Blog


10 LYRICS BY LORCA: 1. The Guitar

10 lyrics by Federico Garcia Lorca: 1 During covid lock-down I made English versions of a few poems by Lorca. This is not a particularly necessary task, I admit. Word by word Lorca is a relatively easy poet to understand and as a result is one of th [...]

DEFOE'S JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR PT 8

PART 8  H.F. ends his account by reflecting on the return to old animosities once the disaster of the plague was over & concludes that the outbreak itself was "all supernatural".  It was not the least of our misfortunes that with the ceasing of [...]

DEFOE'S JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR PT 7

PART 7 In which the narrator looks at the disastrous effect of the plague on business and at how as soon as infection began to slacken people cast off their fear & began to associate again. Our merchants were at full stop. Their merchandise wou [...]

JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR PT 6

PART 6 The London merchant "H.F." continues his account by puzzling over the way the infection behaves & looking at different methods of warding it off & screening for it. Here I ought to leave a remark for posterity that it was not from s [...]

JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR PT 5

PART 5 In this extract Defoe's narrator argues against the use of lockdown to prevent the spread of the plague. He notices that as the infection spreads people take less, not more, notice of the Lord Mayor's restrictions. The government of London ne [...]

JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR PT 4

PART 4 In these extracts life in London becomes increasingly alien. Many behave without care for others, or with a peculiar madness born from desperation. Our narrator is unwillingly appointed an inspector of the lockdown. What a desolate place th [...]

DEFOE'S JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR PT 3

PART 3 In the third part of my twitterised abridgement, lockdown is imposed in London, mass graves are dug and the dreaded dead carts make their appearance. The power of shutting people up in their own houses was a method first taken in 1603 & [...]

DEFOE'S JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR PT 2

#DEFOE'S JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR PART 2 As abridged for Twitter In these extracts, as the Plague begins to grip more tightly, places of entertainment are closed, there is a large increase in spurious and superstitious cures, & the people of [...]

DEFOE'S JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR PT 1

#A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR The text of my abridgement which appeared on my Twitter-feed in 300-character bites at least daily between 1 April and 1 July. Introduction The extraordinary book first appeared in 1722 and takes the form of a first-p [...]

POETRY IN LOCKDOWN: 24

Written between her late teens and her late twenties Emily Bronte’s poems offer plenty of material for psychological analysis. Many are connected to the Gondal project that Emily elaborated with her sister Anne: a romantic history of imaginary island [...]
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