Ramage

Archive for March 2008

Didn’t he ramble? In Memoriam Jonathan Williams, 1929 – 2008

Dales totem

photo: Farm machinery on the disused railway line between Askrigg and Aysgarth, February 2008, taken by yours truly

The American poet and publisher Jonathan Williams, who knew, among other places, Wensleydale, where I have just been, died on Sunday last. in a characteristically-titled essay “Some Speak of a/ Return to Nature/ I Wonder Where They/ Could Have Been” he writes of the photographer Bill Brandt’s assertion that the ancient track between Lewes and Newhaven is the most beautiful road in the world:

I would want to ask Bill Brandt if he’s walked sections of the Lyke Wake Walk on the Cleveland Hills during the heather season, or the green tracks around Upper Wharfedale: the one from Cray over to Stalling Busk in Wensleydale. Beauty is in the feet of the beholder.

Others may mourn him more eloquently than I – Pierre Joris, Mark Scroggins, Ron Silliman, John Latta – via wood s lot, ever the grapevine for these things, from whom I had the news. Ruminations from the distant hills, a blog from the Appalachians, has a handy summation of Williams’ career and significance, and points out that Jargon Press, started while he was still a student, was named “not only for its meaning of personal idiom, but after the French spring pear, “jargonelle” and the French “jargon,” meaning the twittering of birds”. As my other web-cognomen, ‘ramage’, also means the twittering of birds, I’d like to hope for some kinship there. At any rate, I’ll be reading tonight in his books An Ear in Bartram’s Tree, The Magpie’s Bagpipe, and Jubilant Thicket. God rest the old curmudgeon, but not too much – we could do with his spirit still being up and around, somewhere. Here’s a taste, in memoriam one of his own pantheon, Thomas Bewick:

Mr. Bewick, pronounced BUICK,
rests in the churchyard at Ovingham,
pronounced AH-VIN-JUM,
a part of the Tyne Valley
now occupied by Horsey
People who have hardly ever heard

of him

Advertisements

Written by Dave Lovely

March 19, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Posted in authors, poetry, publishing

Tagged with

Irregular Mansions

Liked this quote from one Gilbert Meason, the first writer to use the term ‘landscape architecture’, in the title of his book The Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy(1828).

‘In selecting specimens out of many in our possession to illustrate this work, we have in view such as may be useful to architects in the composition of irregular mansions. These may be arranged under single towers, buildings of small size but simple in their form, and large edifices, picturesque in the disposition of their parts, and those parts of such breadth as to impress, in general, grandeur on the whole composition… Such edifices spread over the country would contribute most essentially to the beauty of British landscape.’

via Some Landscapes

Sadly, what you see these days are rather too many depressingly regular mansions spread over the country…

Written by Dave Lovely

March 19, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Irregular Mansions

Liked this quote from one Gilbert Meason, the first writer to use the term ‘landscape architecture’, in the title of his book The Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy(1828).

‘In selecting specimens out of many in our possession to illustrate this work, we have in view such as may be useful to architects in the composition of irregular mansions. These may be arranged under single towers, buildings of small size but simple in their form, and large edifices, picturesque in the disposition of their parts, and those parts of such breadth as to impress, in general, grandeur on the whole composition… Such edifices spread over the country would contribute most essentially to the beauty of British landscape.’

via Some Landscapes

Sadly, what you see these days are rather too many depressingly regular mansions spread over the country…

Written by Dave Lovely

March 19, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Sea Upon My Pancakes?

Henry David Thoreau has a maple syrup mishap, 152 years ago yesterday.

(Yes, I know. I’ve been back from holiday ages. Work’n’stuff, what can I tellya?)

Written by Dave Lovely

March 17, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Posted in america, diaries, quotes

Tagged with