I think I’ve found the direction I want to take with Chapter Nine, wherein Madeleine teaches a ghost-child to read (Edwina’s little girl, if you’re that up on my obsessive novel-in-progress lucubrations; if you’re not, seriously don’t worry about it).
And what might be in a hotel library, originating in the Edwardian period, that a ghost-child, d. 1918, might want to read?...
I’ve been losing sleep over that (BTW if you have ideas—wonder if @merrowchild or @gabriellajolanta might?... or maybe @andrea.lynn.ingham or @mykindleandacupoftea ?—pls comment or DM).
And then, yesterday evening, after what was generally a pretty great day pour moi in the Gran 🍎, the AC in my beautiful room at the @libraryhotel ... died, and the most advisable solution, given the soupy temperatures, seemed to be to move rooms, pain in the @$$ though that might be.
And there was only one room for me to move into, nine floors directly above the one I had occupied. I’d be moving from the “Law 101” room to the “Mythology” room (you guys seriously have to stay at this hotel... NYPL is what my grandmother used to call spittin’ distance away).
I quipped that I was much more a Mythology kinda girl than Law 101 anyway, close as we may be to a constitutional crisis (eek), and when my crap was sort-of packed, up we went.
And the kind manager left, and I was surrounded by mythology, with a particularly heavy Celtic tinge. The book on the table before me, inviting me to pick it up and dive in, was the one pictured here.
I almost forgot to go down to dinner (though I had many shoes to photograph, and miles to go before I slept).
And so I think maybe I know now which book the ghost child reaches for when Madeleine offers to teach her to read. What do you think?
Oh, and goes without saying, I love me some #roomservicebreakfast , in my #hotelbathrobe
"I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side. The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.
Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite, and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.
Today the summer has come at my window it's sighs and murmurs; and the bees are playing their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.
Now it is time to sit quiet, face to face with thee, and to sing dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure."
The jester walked in the garden:
The garden had fallen still;
He bade his soul rise upward
And stand on her window-sill.
It rose in a straight blue garment,
When owls began to call:
It had grown wise-tongued by thinking
Of a quiet and light footfall;
But the young queen would not listen;
She rose in her pale night-gown;
She drew in the heavy casement
And pushed the latches down.
He bade his heart go to her,
When the owls called out no more;
In a red and quivering garment
It sang to her through the door.
It had grown sweet-tongued by dreaming
Of a flutter of flower-like hair;
But she took up her fan from the table
And waved it off on the air. 'I have cap and bells,’ he pondered,
'I will send them to her and die’;
And when the morning whitened
He left them where she went by.
She laid them upon her bosom,
Under a cloud of her hair,
And her red lips sang them a love-song
Till stars grew out of the air.
She opened her door and her window,
And the heart and the soul came through,
To her right hand came the red one,
To her left hand came the blue.
They set up a noise like crickets,
A chattering wise and sweet,
And her hair was a folded flower
And the quiet of love in her feet. - W.B. Yeats, The Cap and Bells
"Things out of perfection sail,
And all their swelling canvas wear,
Nor shall the self-begotten fail
Though fantastic men suppose
Building-yard and stormy shore,
Winding-sheet and swaddling; clothes."
"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." ~ W.B. Yeats.
I felt like as I walked upon this bridge, I would cross over into some kind of magical world, with all of the suffused sunlight. Would any of my dear friends care to join me? 💛
Thinking of W. B. Yeats (1865-1939), of revelations, things falling apart, and drought-breaking storms
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
Yeats, William Butler: POEMS
London: T. Fisher Unwin. 1904
Fourth edition; first edition thus, incorporating the author’s revisions of the 1901 third edition and with an additional "bibliographical note dated May 1904”. Publisher’s original dark blue cloth with elaborate gilt decoration and titles to the upper board and spine. Portrait frontispiece with tissue guard. A very good or better copy, the binding square and firm with a little fraying and bumping at the spine tips and fold corners. The gilt remains bright. The contents are entirely complete with just a little toning and a single short closed tear to the untrimmed edge of one page (not affecting the text). Without previous owner’s inscriptions or stamps. An attractive example.
IF any man drew near
When I was young,
I thought, 'He holds her dear,' And shook with hate and fear.
But O! 'twas bitter wrong
If he could pass her by
With an indifferent eye.
Whereon I wrote and wrought,
And now, being grey,
I dream that I have brought
To such a pitch my thought
That coming time can say, 'He shadowed in a glass
What thing her body was.' For she had fiery blood
When I was young,
And trod so sweetly proud
As 'twere upon a cloud,
A woman Homer sung,
That life and letters seem
But an heroic dream.
———by W.B Yeats ———A Woman Homer Sung ——- Responsibilities and Other Poems, 1916 ———Plaster cast detail of the “Imaginary Portrait of the Blind Homer” (3rd-1st centuries BC) The Louvre, Paris. The full cast can be seen at The Drawing Studio. #plastercast#homernotsimpson#thelouvre#hellenisticsculpture#thepastarepositoryofsolutions#wbyeats#theilliad#theodyssey