Winter sunset and a seasonal note

December 21, 2012

A scene from Salthill, Galway, a few weeks ago. It was a bitterly cold evening but the Prom was full of people, many of them like me unable to take their eyes off the changing sky and its play of light on the bay.

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To regular readers and occasional passers-by: Happy Christmas and a peaceful new year, and thanks for your visits and comments during 2012 – there’d be no Sentence first without them. See you in a couple of weeks, or sooner if you’re on Twitter and I pop in over the break.

Stan

P.S. Feel free to use the comment form to pose queries, suggest ideas for future posts, tell me what you’re reading, and so on.


Bookmash 16: Virtual light in the heart of the sea

July 23, 2012

Virtual light in the heart of the sea

Virtual light
In the heart of the sea
The waves breaking
The spell, the crossing
The ever-present origin
Atomised, reborn.

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More of these, and links to other people’s, in the bookmash archive. Feel free to join in.

Thanks to the authors: William Gibson, Nathaniel Philbrick, Virginia Woolf, Daniel Dennett, Cormac McCarthy, Jean Gebser, Michel Houellebecq, and Susan Sontag. Idea borrowed from ‘Sorted Books’ by Nina Katchdourian.

Cross-posted on Tumblr.

Updates:

Chelsea at Parole Passport has just posted ‘The Silent World’, her first bookmash.

Julienne, who blogs at nephithyrion, has created two lovely examples.


Bookmash: Forest of symbols

April 24, 2012
[click to enlarge]

Forest of symbols

The forest of symbols,
The eye beguiled:
Tree of smoke
Through the language glass,
Everything you know
Lost in translation.

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With thanks to the authors: Victor Turner, Bruno Ernst, Denis Johnson, Guy Deutscher, Zoë Heller, and Eva Hoffman; and to Nina Katchadourian, whose Sorted Books project was my original inspiration for this.

More of these, and links to other people’s, in the bookmash archive. Cross-posted on Tumblr.

Update:

Lafcadio De La Foret writes: “If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live with aphasia, I’ve found the words that explain it best to me. And it’s compiled by just stacking six books.”


Bookmash: Time, love and summer

March 4, 2012
[click to enlarge]

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Time, love and summer

A woman speaks
About time, love and summer:
Arrow in the blue;
Land of milk and honey,
Sixpence in her shoe.

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With thanks to the authors: Anaïs Nin, Paul Davies, William Trevor, Arthur Koestler, Bríd Mahon, and Maura Treacy; and to Nina Katchadourian, whose Sorted Books project started it for me.

Update: More, from Twitter: a gardeny one by @HarrietRycroft, and a stargazing one by @ozalba.

City of Lu has joined in, with a brace of funny examples.

Jessie Jessup has gone full throttle nerd swoon for book mash poetry — and offers six more here.

Chris Galvin felt National Poetry Month was the perfect excuse for her second book spine poem. And another: ‘Old Beijing‘.

[bookmash archive]

Bookmash: Ambient gestures

January 11, 2012

A new bookmash today. Most of my books are in storage, or I would be doing these more often, but there are enough within arm’s reach to put the occasional one together without reusing too many titles.  p.

[click to enlarge]

Ambient gestures

Ambient gestures
Against interpretation,
The sense of things
Out of the ordinary:
Unspeak the tyranny of words.

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You can see previous examples in the bookmash archives, including links to other people’s. Let me know if you join in, and I’ll add you to the list.

Thanks to Nina Katchadourian for the idea, and to the featured authors (dead or alive): Jack Womack, Desmond Morris, Susan Sontag, Alison Dye, Jon Ronson, Steven Poole, and Stuart Chase.

[I posted this bookmash on Tumblr as well.]

Jumbling, tumbling

December 23, 2011

Between this blog and other active online haunts, I’ve been spreading my internet self a bit thin. But I’m a glutton for punishment, so I’ve started a Tumblr blog, provisionally titled Books & bits asthore.* So far it’s an erratic series of book excerpts, poems, and images from films.

Sentence first has been nominated in Macmillan Dictionary’s inaugural Love English Awards. You can vote for it, or for another language blog, on this page until 31 January. My expectations are non-existent, but I’m honoured to be in such great company, and I found a few new websites to explore. (Disclosure: I write for Macmillan Dictionary Blog.)

It’s a mild and sunny December day in the west of Ireland — Pseudocember, I’ve been calling it — and this is likely to be my last post before 2012. Thank you for your visits, comments, and innumerable kindnesses all year, and have a happy and peaceful Christmas.

moss on a wall in county Galway this morning

* I wrote about the Irish English word asthore here.


Walked and kept walking

April 15, 2011

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Walked and kept walking
till I saw turnstones
feeding in soft
sunlight falling
on an empty shore.
So I waited there.

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[This was originally a tweet in the heel of winter; it wasn’t meant to become a lazy poem. To make it up to you, there are more birds here.]