Skip to content

…And So To Bed

September 7, 2009

Great Grandfather
.

.

In 1882, Sheik Abdul-Razzzak Mishari Al-Adwani of Kuwait (pictured above), ordered a silver-encrusted bed.

The design was sent to Christofle in Paris calling for a bed of “dark wood decorated with applied sterling with gilded parts, monograms and arms, ornamented with four life-size bronze figures (of naked females) painted in flesh colour with natural hair, movable eyes and arms, holding fans and horse tails”.

Some 290kg of silver was needed to decorate the bed. The four naked figures were European, representing women of France, Spain, Italy and Greece, each with a different skin-tone and hair colour. Through ingenious mechanics linked to the mattress, the Sheik was able to set the figures in motion so that they fanned him while winking at him, against a 30-minute cycle of music from Gounod’s Faust generated by a music box built into the bed.

–from A History Of The Trucial States by Col. H.R. Dickinson, Eyre & Spottiswood (1932)

The bed is still in my possession. In fact, I’m lying on it as I dictate this to my scribe, while the naked figurines fan me and wink and Gounod tinkles agreeably in the background. The bed is a trifle garish for modern tastes but I’m an old-fashioned sort of fellow and anyway, it affords my concubines hours of harmless amusement.

“You know those good-for-nothings that you’re always chatting to on this interweb thing (the work of Shaitan, God preserve us from it)? Well, why don’t you set them to write a sonnet about beds?” So spoke my number 2 concubine, Ayesha, as I puffed meditatively on my opium pipe and nibbled on crystallised fruit.

A splendid idea, I think (and for which Ayesha received a small purse of uncut emeralds). So this is your task, faithless ones. A Sonnet about beds or a specific bed…not about sleep, although sleep may enter into it, obviously… but primarily about beds themselves.

Here’s a Spencerian Sonnet (you can tell it’s poetry because I use the word ’tis)

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again.

–The Tempest 3.2.148-156

To Dream Again

I lay me down in my place of rest
The bed wherein I seek my slumber
There I wait for thoughts expressed
In dreams: no locks or chains encumber.

Night and night; nights without number
In cloudy flocks have passed the sheep
This bed of mine is no mere lumber
It is the very realm of sleep.

‘Tis Morpheus who drags me deep
In sea of dreams, where I must flounder
And if a chasm I must leap
Then after, I shall sleep the sounder.

For this is more than just a bed:
It is the place where dreams are bred.

88 Comments
  1. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    September 7, 2009 12:20 PM

    A pleasing creak; not one to cause alarm
    In confident Leviathan; the pine
    Is sprung, the slatted base protects from harm
    The double drawers, literally supine.

    As is the Master, keen to creak anew,
    Re-reading John Irving to find his place
    And waiting for a spouse? a mistress? who?
    To lavish on him ten minutes of grace.

    Confronted with a world of iron keys
    And springs and bedsteads -winter school in Maine-
    Where ranks of prepubescent members freeze,
    The Master’s faint desire ebbs again.

    A powerful anaphrodisiac:
    A little dearth of oysters in the sack.

  2. freep permalink
    September 7, 2009 12:24 PM

    A wretched truss of foetid rotting straw
    Is all my bed. Black snakes my limbs entwine,
    My single plimsoll wedges close the door.
    In such plight, who can scratch a genial line?

    I’th’east, rich dreams caress the paynim swart,
    From opiate luxury flows his swollen verse.
    But here, in climes where comfort’s hardly bought,
    Thoughts strike like knives that slit the empty purse.

    O! for a couch of comfort, deep-filled mattress,
    With mothy warmth and downy thoughts that glow.
    My fingers yearn for flesh of she who’s strapless,
    My flesh feel roused, my blood lurch from below.
    No bed of mine should ever lack an actress;
    No sun rise o’er the sheets that stage the show.

  3. parallax permalink
    September 7, 2009 3:29 PM

    Freaking late to the party again – here’s a sonnet not about beds but a weather acrostic thingo – the saving grace is it mentions sheep so that’ll up the google hit rate:

    A bane th’on it

    Fallow verse containing verdant landscape
    Undermines whether we read or live it.
    Consider this: a poem or a drape?
    Kinetic cloaking, soft words, candlelit.

    Imagine withdrawing from unreal verse
    No longer reading – just working the land,
    Going to the bank, riding your father’s hearse.
    Damned if you do, fucked if you don’t. Your hand

    ‘Round the weather vane: ‘Send planes to seed clouds!’
    Out beyond blue yonder, ‘Come on you gods
    Understand we need rain, mate!’ No heads bowed,
    Get stock sorted; shoot sheep; douse; dig; turn sods.

    Hey, you believe that bush anthology?
    Take a break – it’s Lawson’s mythology.

  4. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 7, 2009 6:27 PM

    The sheikh

    That pile of carpets, blue and red,
    is where the Arab lays his head,
    the movements of her milky thighs
    he follows with unwinking eyes.

    Her clothes are ripped by heathen hands,
    her body struggles to and fro
    out on the lone and level sands
    the unforgiving Khamsin blows.

    The sheikh unsheaths his scimitar,
    she shrinks from its glistening length,
    the moon glints on his evil scar,
    he plunges home with all his strength.

    The humid twilight of the tent
    is- CUT! This fucking sword is BENT!

  5. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    September 7, 2009 7:58 PM

    The Onegin Lines

    Come swoon upon my four-poster,
    For soon I shall three-legged be.
    I’ll have thee ride, roller-coaster,
    O’er Russian mountains to the sea.
    Don’t part the curtains or fidget;
    This oak was hewn for a midget.
    It’s cramped, there’s barely room for us!
    A trifle incommodius,
    But hey, Nonny. Count your blessings:
    The forward hands doss in a pit
    Where able seamen cough and spit,
    Awash in vile salad dressings!
    Thank God you’re safe in my employ:
    Valet de chambre and cabin boy.

  6. pinkroom permalink
    September 7, 2009 8:10 PM

    The first bed that was mine was deliivered
    with much aplomb and was stood on its end,
    to allow packaging to be severed
    and the four legs to be screwed and tightened.

    If that bed could talk, it could tell a tale.
    Only three foot six it was wide enough
    and after too many miles, its legs failed
    and the mattress became more spring than stuff.

    So I left it behind for a double
    in various damp, unheated hovels
    where I set about looking for trouble,
    sufficient to fill, unwritten novels.

    And the first bed? I believe it was burned
    in shame for the devil’s own tricks it learned.

  7. September 7, 2009 8:26 PM

    Great sign-off, PR.

    Have been in Ronda a few days now, crookedly settling in, 100m up a cliff. To the right our terrace overlooks a square where events that inspired a particularly unpleasant episode in For Whom the Bell Tolls (one that, amazingly, doesn’t centre on Ernie’s tiresome elevation of humourless ruggedness to a Christ-like virtue).

  8. InvisibleJack permalink
    September 7, 2009 11:44 PM

    An overnight stay

    Inside the witch’s tower-room her bed
    of shadows lies unmade, its sheets of grey
    a tangled rope, its quilt of hair blood-red.
    Its wick still bright, the crescent moon holds sway
    beyond the shuttered window. Seven moths,
    like spots of mould, cling to the walls, their cloaks
    dulled in the lightless room to simple cloths,
    their stains of silver held in check. Night chokes
    everything and makes it not: those who slept
    upon the bed were leached into its dream
    of two entwined in love: that way were kept,
    until the bed awoke to this stale room.
    Soon the witch will come, check her guests remain
    but now as moths, and scrape their silver stain.

    Jack Brae Curtingstall

  9. InvisibleJack permalink
    September 7, 2009 11:51 PM

    Greetings fellow poets

    Jack Brae has, as it happens, not long emerged from sleep. Like Tom Clark I’m a sufferer of insomnia and only get to sleep if a cycle decides to kick in of its own accord. Well, early this evening, just after six, and just after being able to snoozily plot a sonnet (with unstressed rhyme) about beds, I decided that bed was the place for me and that’s where I went. Been asleep for the past five hours. Obviously, Mishari, your theme contained a strong subliminal prompt! Anyway, it’s good to wake up to good rhyming stuff in this house of poetry, and here’s mine, completed, above…

    Jack Brae

  10. September 8, 2009 3:11 AM

    Three-fifty-one a.m. and still awake
    My bed and I are not on sleeping terms
    Surrendered hope of weariness to slake
    Each thought an icy glow of sparks and squirms
    And where the full moon bulged up from the mountain
    There’s only pre-dawn, dead, indifferent black
    The silent bridge, the empty square, the fountain
    Are echoless, unpeopled, lightless, slack
    Below the window stone walls plunge and taper
    Like the enwombing, chasm-pitch of sleep
    Above which like an acrobat I caper
    Forbad and banished from that cooling deep

    It’s turning four-o-eight and all is well
    My dreams, without me, ravel, roll and tell

  11. file permalink
    September 8, 2009 8:12 AM

    An almost Petrarchian, slightly Spensarian yet anti-Shakespearian sonnet

    A comfy bed is nice to lie in, yes?
    Fair rhyming pairs and couplets too, and you
    so sweet in jammies, curlers, rinses blue
    a structure strong, a hidden thong and yet
    your song doth squirt, doth reek, is drenched in sweat
    of dungeons dark and hogties tight, a clue
    that gags and stirrups, strap-ons ring untrue
    are fun, for sure they pose, but pose no threat
    to fresh tight flesh, that threshes verses free
    abandons blindfolds, nipple clamps and knots.
    Released from bondage, runs amok from plots
    and humps with love the language god gave thee.
    Unbridled and inspired a love bird sings
    a protest song that threatens thy bed springs.

    xxx!

  12. mishari permalink*
    September 8, 2009 8:33 AM

    The usual superlative standard from everyone. Well done.

    BTW, XB…I don’t know how long you’re planning to stay in Ronda, but have I got an LP for you (well, 5 LPs, actually). I think I’m right in saying that you are, like me, an aficionado of 60s Garage/Psychedelia. I’ll shoot this one over to you, if you fancy it:

    Trash Box-109 tracks of mid-sixties garage rock and psychedelia.

    Disc One

    1. Mike Spenser – “Introduction” (0:48)
    2. The Litter – “Action Woman” (2:33)
    3. The Preachers – “Who Do You Love?” (2:18)
    4. Floyd Dakil Combo – “Dance Franny Dance” (2:08)
    5. The Shag – “Stop and Listen” (2:35)
    6. The Grains of Sand – “Going Away Baby” (2:11)
    7. The Rogues – “The Train Kept A-Rollin'” (2:36)
    8. The Sweet Acids – “That Creature” (3:00)
    9. The Soup Greens – “Like a Rolling Stone” (2:46)
    10. The Wig – “Cracking Up” (2:10)
    11. Positively 13 O’Clock – “Psychotic Reaction” (2:02)
    12. Kim Fowley – “The Trip” (2:02)
    13. Kim Fowley – “Underground Lady” (2:16)
    14. The Shadows of Knight – “The Potato Chip Song” (3:30)
    15. The Wilde Knights – “Beaver Patrol” (2:21)
    16. The Stoics – “Hate” (2:25)
    17. The Grodes – “Let’s Talk About Girls” (2:40)
    18. The Rogues – “Wanted Dead or Alive” (2:29)
    19. The Third Bardo – “I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time” (2:13)
    20. The Fallen Angels – “Bad Woman” (2:10)
    21. Unknown Band – “It’s the Love You Want” (2:07)
    22. Ground Floor People – “Walking on Eggs” (2:17)

    Disc Two

    1. The Split Ends – “Rich with Nothin'” (2:22)
    2. The Sons of Adam – “Feathered Fish” (2:32)
    3. The Road – “You Rub Me the Wrong Way” (2:31)
    4. The Buddahs – “Lost Innocence” (2:11)
    5. The Regiment – “My Soap Won’t Float” (2:17)
    6. The Inmates – “More Than I Have” (2:33)
    7. The Inmates – “Fakirs and Thieves” (2:00)
    8. The Little Boy Blues – “I Can Only Give You Everything” (2:34)
    9. Phil & the Frantics – “I Must Run” (2:42)
    10. The Choir – “It’s Cold Outside” (2:51)
    11. The Journeymen – “She’s Sorry” (2:06)
    12. The Wee Four – “Weird” (2:04)
    13. William Penn Fyve – “Blow My Mind” (2:12)
    14. Randy Alvey & Green Fuz – “Green Fuz” (2:02)
    15. The Bees – “Voices Green and Purple” (1:35)
    16. Nobody’s Children – “Good Times” (2:43)
    17. The Sparkles – “Ain’t No Friend of Mine” (2:23)
    18. The Barbarians – “Hey Little Bird” (2:20)
    19. The Spades – “You’re Gonna Miss Me” (3:16)
    20. The Ground Floor – “It’s Alright Now” (2:33)
    21. The Brogues – “I Ain’t No Miracle Worker” (2:40)

    Disc Three

    1. Dave Diamond & the Higher Elevation – “The Diamond Mine” (2:15)
    2. Teddy & His Patches – “Suzy Creamcheese” (3:10)
    3. The Crystal Chandelier – “Suicidal Flowers” (2:24)
    4. Naked Truth – “The Wall” (2:31)
    5. The Electric Prunes – “Vox Wah Wah Ad” (1:02)
    6. The Calico Wall – “Flight Reaction” (2:39)
    7. The Hogs – “Loose Lips Sync Ship” (3:05)
    8. Macabre – “Be Forewarned” (3:28)
    9. The Monocles – “The Spider and the Fly” (2:07)
    10. Godfrey – “Let’s Take a Trip” (Kim Fowley) (2:15)
    11. T.C. Atlantic – “Faces” (2:47)
    12. Oshun – “Rattle of Life” (2:16)
    13. The Weird Street Carnival – “The Inner Truth” (2:08)
    14. The Driving Stupid – “The Reality of (Air) Fried Borsk” (1:51)
    15. The Driving Stupid – “Horror Asparagus Stories” (2:36)
    16. M.G. & the Escorts – “A Someday Fool” (2:34)
    17. The Quests – “Shadows in the Night” (2:34)
    18. Pat Farrell & the Believers – “Bad Woman” (2:08)
    19. The Electric Company – “Scarey Business” (2:53)
    20. The Cavemen – “It’s Trash” (2:07)
    21. The Teddy Boys – “Mona” (3:00)
    22. Calico Wall – “I’m a Living Sickness” (2:36)

    Disc Four

    1. Dearly Beloved – “Flight 13” (1:49)
    2. GONN – “Doin’ Me In” (2:48)
    3. The Quid – “Crazy Things” (3:01)
    4. Satan & the D-Men – “She’ll Lie” (3:08)
    5. The Haunted – “Vapeaur Mauve” (3:36)
    6. Phil & the Frantics – “Till You Get What You Want” (2:43)
    7. The Grodes – “Cry a Little Longer” (2:04)
    8. The Bobby Fuller Four – “I Fought the Law” (2:15)
    9. The Groupies – “I’m a Hog for You” (2:53)
    10. The Debonaires – “Never Mistaken” (2:30)
    11. The Oxford Circle – “Foolish Woman” (2:35)
    12. Edgin Inds – “Don’t Try to Hide It” (2:28)
    13. The Bethlehem Exit – “Blues Concerning My Girl” (2:07)
    14. The Spades – “We Sell Soul” (3:17)
    15. The Final Solution – “So Long Goodbye” (6:11)
    16. The Orange Wedge – “From the Womb to the Tomb” (2:50)
    17. The Choir – “I’m Going Home” (2:35)
    18. The Mile Ends – “Bottle Up and Go” (2:14)
    19. Kit & the Outlaws – “Don’t Tread on Me” (2:50)
    20. Michael Omansky – “Searching” (2:29)
    21. The Id – “The Rake” (2:03)
    22. J.D. Blackfoot – “Epitaph for a Head” (2:24)
    23. Untitled Hidden Track by The Cannibals – “We’re Pretty Sick” [1] (2:18)

    Disc Five

    1. The Tree – “No Good Woman” (2:39)
    2. The Gentlemen – “It’s a Cryin’ Shame” (2:33)
    3. The Five Canadians – “Writing on the Wall” (2:19)
    4. Satori – “Time Machine” (1:39)
    5. The Leather Boy – “Shadows” (2:12)
    6. William Penn Fyve – “Swami” (2:57)
    7. Fe Fi Four Plus 2 – “I Wanna Come Back (from the World of LSD)” (2:19)
    8. The Bitter End – “Find Somebody to Love” (3:13)
    9. Satyrs – “Yesterday’s Hero” (2:36)
    10. The State of Mind – “Move” (2:11)
    11. Yesterday’s Children – “Wanna Be with You” (2:33)
    12. Thursday’s Children – “You’ll Never Be My Girl” (2:10)
    13. Thursday’s Children – “Air Conditioned Man” (2:14)
    14. Los Tropics – “I Want More” (2:31)
    15. Black and Blues – “Come to Me” (2:46)
    16. The Gants – “Smoke Rings” (2:38)
    17. Billy McKnight – “You’re Doin’ Me Wrong” (2:07)
    18. The Glass Sun – “Silence of the Morning” (5:09)
    19. The Plastic Blues Band – “Gone” (2:11)
    20. The Palace Guards – “No Comin’ Back” (2:22)
    21. The Turfits – “Losin’ One” (2:27)
    22. The Jury – “Who Dat?” (2:20)
    23. Mike Spenser – “Goodbye, So Long!!!!” (0:09)

  13. parallax permalink
    September 8, 2009 11:08 AM

    they’re kiwi’s but…

  14. parallax permalink
    September 8, 2009 11:12 AM

    Shhounds like early yardbirds:

  15. parallax permalink
    September 8, 2009 11:39 AM

    Anyway, wanted say thanks mish for an immaculate image of the elaborate ancestral bed with movable gilded bits – brilliant. If you want fans – create fans – swivelling eyes an option.

    And – hi-Jack (arf), lovin’ your verse – spectacularly controlled. Really enjoying the brilliant engineering. Can I – just – take issue with your sleeplessness over unstressedness. The iambic (stressed followed by stressed) was meant to be the closest to ordinary speech, and then coupled with pentameter, gives the heavy weight to major pronouncements, like:

    We hold these truths to be self evident

    yeh, and where did that get us?

    I think – and I’d be interested to hear what you think – that speech patterns are changing. Where there were lots of subsidiary, grammatically correct, clauses – now there’s lots of asides and pauses.

    Hey that last sentence – what you reckon, rhythm and rhyme?

  16. parallax permalink
    September 8, 2009 12:36 PM

    oh dear:

  17. September 8, 2009 12:43 PM

    A murderer is a conventional beast
    Killing but a routine to make people dead.
    So sleep in a position he expects least
    He’ll be stabbing at the wrong bits of bed.

    When young I slept diagonally
    Thwarting any potential killers.
    It worked : I’m now fifty-three
    Having avoided such nocturnal thrillers.

    Whether right or wrong: I’m agnostic
    Please don’t make me write this in acrostic.

  18. parallax permalink
    September 8, 2009 12:47 PM

    After Price and Fame, I need to cleanse:

    ok, I’ll leave alone for a while – hey, take care guys:)

  19. InvisibleJack permalink
    September 8, 2009 1:52 PM

    Hi Parallax

    Thankyou for the thumbs-up on the poems, very much appreciated.

    To answer your question, I wasn’t actually being sleepless over unstressing the rhymes, I was genuinely being sleepless over being sleepless. When it comes to meter and rhyme I have very specific ideas. Firstly, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool formailist. I like rhyme. Rhyme rocks in my view. I don’t think it’s neccessarily the only way to write poetry (and I often dispense with it if I feel the need) but I do find poetry that uses rhyme and, more importantly, poetry that uses meter, far more satisfactory at least to write – as a writing experience.

    Having said all that, you’ll have probably noticed, especially on Poster Poems, that I go to a lot of trouble in cutting across the stresses and meter whenever I have the inclination to do so. I very often gelignite my own poems, inducing caesuras and even stressing caesuras and stuff like that. This again is a conscious poetic decision. It’s a personal theory of mine. You see, I’m not simply a formalist, but I’m also at times an Elastic Formalist. Elastic Formalism is my own invention and comes with quite a few theories, but I’m still defining them. And the best way to do that is to write the poetry. (I do find people who talk on and on about poetry, and who don’t actually write much of their own, quite irritating.)

    Yes, as you ask, I also believe that speech patterns are changing and so is formal poetry. Language and literature is an evolving process. Even doggeral is evolving. (As well as being an Elastic Formalist I’m also a proud Ultradogg.)

    Anyway, I hope that answers some of that question of yours. And, Mishari, apologies if I’ve gone off the subject of beds (or put anyone to sleep!).

    If this aside has annoyed anyone, then please stick pins into Parrallax (you naughty person) and not me. I’m entirely innocent!

    Jack Brae

  20. September 8, 2009 2:01 PM

    Mishari,

    You’ve pre-empted me. I’ve been concidering a blog post on the psych/beat boom, how it was, like, the largest, fastest most democratic yet anarchic explosion of artistic expression in the history of the species.

    Yeah, the Yardbirds were okay. But, y’know, they could play, thereby missing the trip entirely.

    As ever, it would be hugely appreciated. I’ll get our address. The landlord let us in on fri with a vague promise of returning with some kind of contract. Haven’t seen him since.

  21. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 8, 2009 2:09 PM

    The Altar of Sleep

    This bedroom was a place of worship,
    drowsy with the scent of pot-pourri,
    the aisle marked by the narrow strip
    of rug which went to what was holy.

    The dressing table a lady chapel,
    the washstand holding the plate and pyx
    the mahogany tallboys chancels
    and the bolsters good Catholics.

    Dining- or sitting-, grandfather thought
    there was a purpose to every room,
    but imagination sold him short:

    every other Thursday afternoon
    grandmother and the parish priest
    fornicated on the altar of sleep.

  22. parallax permalink
    September 8, 2009 2:30 PM

    MM – well, there’s them turns and then there’s them other turns – I’d prefer the priest/sleep turn to reconfigure thus:

    grandmother and the parish priest
    fornicated on the altar of sheep

    see me after vespers to discuss

    yours etc.,
    a vigilant housemaster

  23. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 8, 2009 3:11 PM

    I suppose an altar of sheep is a possibility. They would have to be strapped together quite tightly – amputating the legs would give a steadier platform. Missionary could be difficult – female participant’s arse disappearing down the crack, as it were. Tricky balancing act a posteriori. I’m sure you antipodeans have plenty of experience in this area, though we do have Al for the local view.

  24. September 8, 2009 3:50 PM

    MM given the almost forensic detail you’ve given us plus you’ve evidently considered the possibilities I’d say experience in ovine lurve lies more in your direction.

    Plus sheep + Somerset don’t really go together – more of a cattle county.

  25. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 8, 2009 4:09 PM

    The credit goes to Taylor’s Miscellany, which I happened to be glancing through this morning. You are right about the cattle, which I remember you commenting on in the past. I’ll have to make a note of it.

    Somerset – cattleshaggers.

  26. September 8, 2009 4:18 PM

    Taylor’s miscellany – very good and almost believable.

  27. parallax permalink
    September 8, 2009 4:33 PM

    cattleshagging? well, there’d be counselling and health and safety involved.

    Oh&s – y’know correct posture, some sort of elevation – I’d suggest finding a milking stool of the right height so you don’t strain your calf muscles.

    Counselling – more along the lines of: ‘hey, how do feel about your orientation towards cattle? Look, it’s ok if cattle are your thing, but you know that cows are more socially acceptable in a gender specific sort of way?

    ETAYLOR – I’ll send you a bill from the ‘Politely Homicidal Clinic’ – motto ‘no problem too big or too small to finance 290kg of silver required for a day bed’

  28. September 8, 2009 5:02 PM

    thanks for the tips para but Somerset schoolboy rumour was that you also need to wear a belt to stop your innards being removed due to the power of suction.

    If anyone is interested there’s a fairly graphic depiction of lonely young shepherds and their physical attachment to animals in the Taviani Brother’s film Padre Padrone. I thought it was about life in the IoW but apparently it’s set in Sicilly.

  29. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    September 8, 2009 5:51 PM

  30. mishari permalink*
    September 8, 2009 6:00 PM

    Jesus, you lot are pieces of work…start you out on the sky and you end up on teeth, start you off on beds and you end up on carnal knowledge of barnyard animals.

    XB, just email me your address (I assume you still have my email address) and I’ll get those to you. Some of the stuff is pretty dire but there are some real gems…

    BTW, Jack…never worry about going ‘off-topic’. It’s not a concept we recognise around here.

  31. freep permalink
    September 8, 2009 6:01 PM

    Very tasteful, hlm. Most of it edited down from a promotional film for the Northumberland County Show, by the looks.

  32. mishari permalink*
    September 8, 2009 6:24 PM

    BTW, Cap’n Ned recommended a book last week, Fishing In Utopia by Andrew Brown. Well, I picked up a copy and I’m about half way through it. I can echo the Cap’n’s recommendation. It’s an excellent book. Read it if you get a chance…

  33. September 8, 2009 6:42 PM

    my previous YouTube links have proved useless so hope this works. From Yuri Norstein’s The Overcoat – unfinished but tantalising version of the Gogol story by the best animator ever:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjSGIjGy1qQ

  34. InvisibleJack permalink
    September 8, 2009 6:51 PM

    Excellent poem, MM.

    Parallax, you need help.

    Mishari, in light of the recent descent into sheepshagging and Cattleslapping I will never ever again apologise for going off topic.

    Will order Taylor’s Miscellany immediately. My bookshelves are obviously more lacking than I realised. I will also be ordering Fishing In Utopia by Andrew Brown as it’s obviously about sex. As I’ve come to realise in recent times, I obviously just need to get out more. Yes, it’s all happening outdoors…..

    Jack Brae

  35. September 8, 2009 7:00 PM

    Your apology must stand, Jack

    One of the regrettable elements of life at Politely Mansions is that man/beast love is never off-topic.

  36. mishari permalink*
    September 8, 2009 7:02 PM

    Al, some youtube vids don’t allow themselves to be ’embedded’ and will only show as links. Also, it seems that if you add any text after the link, it won’t embed and if you post more than one link, again, only the links will show…let me repost your link and see what happens:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjSGIjGy1qQ

  37. mishari permalink*
    September 8, 2009 7:04 PM

    Nope…obviously, it’s one of those that don’t allow ’embedding’…

  38. mishari permalink*
    September 8, 2009 7:07 PM

    …and speaking of sheep:

  39. September 8, 2009 7:08 PM

    Mishari,

    thanks, will do.

    Just finished Blood Meridian. What an incredible book. The Judge is a demon of Kurtz-like stature (although Kurtz is, of course, cadaver-like). Wonder if McCarthy had Brando in mind. Funny that McCarthy and Lovecraft were both born in Rhode Island. Must be a great holiday destination. I finished it during an insomnia frenzy last night, which should do wonders for my dreams. Not that they need help; a few nights ago I shot Einstein point-blank through the head with a revolver. Had to be the head, for some reason. Everyone else got shot any which way.

  40. mishari permalink*
    September 8, 2009 7:15 PM

    I know what you mean, XB. The book left me feeling wrung-out and exhausted and dumped back into a paler, duller world.

    I agree with you..the Judge is a monster of epic stature–baffling, terrifying and strangely attractive. I’m glad you were as impressed by Blood Meridian as I was.

  41. September 8, 2009 8:29 PM

    Mish although if I click on the link it comes up. Is it not working for you?

  42. InvisibleJack permalink
    September 8, 2009 8:32 PM

    I just received this poem in a vision. My poetic powers are obviously on the way out…

    Albert’s Final & Profoundest Question

    On traversing some strange space-shit pathways
    hapless Einstein stumbled into XB’s dream
    while harnessing the power of astral rays.
    “Oh excuze me,” said Albert, “wrong time-stream,

    and by ze vay, vot’s vis ze dead bodeez?”
    XB, too asleep to explain, and far
    too a-dream to know why, aimed, and with ease,
    shot Einstein through the head, shot brains ajar,

    brain-matter spattering his Princes of Wales check.
    And then, as if in a dream, (but he was!)
    he noticed all the dead, their corpses dreck,
    and shook then his buzzing head free of wasps,

    (for it was clotted with a yellow swarm)
    and woke that instant to his clock-alarm.

    Jack Brae

  43. mishari permalink*
    September 8, 2009 10:05 PM

    Oh, no, Al…the link works just fine. I was just testing to see if it would actually ’embed’ the video in your post. Evidently not. Great video, though…

  44. September 8, 2009 10:32 PM

    Do check out the other Norstein YouTube clips or get the DVD of his collected work – particularly Tale of Tales and Hedgehog in the Fog. I know from previous comments that Cap’n Ned is a fellow admirer. Personally I can’t praise his films enough. I’ve seen Tale of Tales dozens of times and it never fails to move me in ways I can’t explain.

    amazingly original technique too. He collages cut out drawings to create each figure and places them and the backgrounds on different layers of glass so he can backlight or illuminate up specific areas of the screen. The images have a glowing inner life to them. Sorry to drone on but he’s a real favourite of mine.

  45. mishari permalink*
    September 8, 2009 10:51 PM

    I know you’ve mentioned Norstein before, Al…I just wasn’t paying attention. My mistake. I’ve just ordered The Complete Works Of Yuri Norstein from Amazon. While I was browsing, I also came across a 4-DVD set called The Masters Of Russian Animation, which I’ve also ordered. It contains:

    Volume 1

    Story of One Crime – Director: Fyodor Khitruk (1962)

    1962 marked the directorial debut of Fyodor Khitruk, the distinguished animator of some of the greatest animation ever produced in Russia. One of the first animated films made by Soyuzmultfilm for adults. Story of one Crime ushered in a new era of Russian animation by taking up social themes and expounding on them with distinctive eloquence. The Film tells the story of the “little man” and seems quite ordinary – But it is told with a mischievous sharp wit.

    Man in the Frame – Director: Fyodor Khitruk (1966)

    Many in the Russian animation industry are still amazed that Man in the Frame was ever produced, not to mention approved and widely distributed in the USSR. Khitruk had for several years wanted to make a film which openly critiqued bureaucrats instead of disguising them as bears or beavers in children’s fairy tales. Innovative visuals were created with collage and dramatized by masterful use of music.

    My Green Crocodile – Director: Vadim Kurchevsky (1966)

    One of the first films directed by the late Vadim Kurchevsky. An experienced artist, he began work at Soyuzmultfilm in 1957as an art director in the studio’s stop motion department. By the mid-’60s Soyuzmultfilm was already known internationally for stop motion films produced for children. Kurchevsky began to use these same techniques to address adult viewers and to make films about modern-day problems. My Green Crocodile abounds in metaphors, which tell of unusual love and th courage of commitment.

    There Lived Kozyavin – Director: Andrei Khrjanovsky, (1966)

    who had just graduated from the Soviet State Film School (VGIK). Khrjanovsky who began his career at Soyuzmultfim working for Fyodor Khitruk, represented the new type of erudite director who emerged during this period; an intellectual connoisseur of world art, utterly irreverent of of the animation industry’s previous artistic and literary constraints. There Lived Kozyavin, made the same year as Man In The Frame

    Mountain Of Dinosaurs – Director: Rasa Stautmane (1967)

    Was the second feature by Rasa Strautmane, a woman director born in Latvia. The story was visually light and simple. Soviet censors did not recognize that in the little tale of a shell that protected a baby dinosaur so well that it suffocated him, audiences would find parallels with the stifling state care of the individual.

    Passion of Spies – Director: Yefim Gamburg (1967)

    The second feature directed by Yefim Gamburg, an artist who began working at Soyuzmultfilm in 1955 and animated many of the best children’s poems, fairy tales and songs. He turned his attention to adults with “Passions of Spies,” reviewing dozens of Soviet spy and detective films to make Soyuzmultfilm’s first spoof. He selected the most stereotypical spy movie plots and characters, all well known to Soviet audiences. Soviet censors were so nervous about the film that they immediately sent it to the film club at Lubyanka (KGB Headquarters) to test the political waters. A high ranking general loved it — and personally thanked Gamburg for “destroying the established stereotype of the ‘wooden’ Soviet intelligence.” Made during a period of Soviet world power, the film was never officially shown abroad until after perestroika.

    Glass Harmonica – Director: Andrei Khjanovsky (1968)

    The state comes into confrontation with the artist, who gives new vision to the masses, and shows them a different horizon. “Glass Harmonica” was shelved by Soviet censors who — not surprisingly — found it ideologically disturbing. It was finally released after perestroika. “Glass Harmonica” was the first animated film scored by the late legendary Russian composer Alfred Schnittke, who was to collaborate with Khrjanovsky on more than half of his films. The animators Yulo-Ilmar Sooster and Yuri Nolyev-Sobolev, were among the most important artists of the Soviet underground. Before finding refuge at Soyuzmultfilm, they participated at the famous and controversial Manege (opposite the Kremlin) exhibit of underground art which was closed down by Khruschev and condemned by Soviet press.

    Ball Of Yarn – Director: Nikolai Serebriakov (1968)

    A graduate of the Muhina School of Art (Leningrad), Serebriakov worked in theatre and cinema before joining Soyuzmultfilm. He bravely took the stop motion technique in new directions, using numerous textures and collages to give his films special artistic beauty. The poetic fairy tale “Ball of Yarn” explored deep philosophical ideas through unusual imagery.

    Singing Teacher – Director: Anatoly Petrov (1968)

    A mini-film which marked the directorial debut of the veteran artist and animator . Petrov used color pencil drawings to create the film’s graphic look. This short film brought him great respect and recognition of Soviet audiences; they knew well about.

    Film, Film, Film – Director: Fyodor Khitruk (1968)

    Won Wide acclaim at home and abroad and included a parody of Sergei Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terible. Khirtruk was widely respected in the former USSR and used his celerity status to guide and protect tlented newcomers duringthe Soviet era – like Eisenstein, whom he once met. Filmmakers from all over the world can recognize their own problems in the 20 minute comic masterpiece.

    Volume 2

    Season – Director: Ivan Ivanov-Vano (1969)

    Long considered Russian’s foremost director of animated films, Ivanov-Vano’s features fro children won top honors at the most important international festivals and are still captivation audiences today. Seasons combines antique Russian lace with Viatsk toys and Tchaikovsky’s music. Yuri Norstein, who was to become the foremost name among Russia’s new generation of animation directors, worked on this film as an assistant to Ivanov-Vano.

    Ballerina on the Boat – Director: Lev Atamanov (1969)

    After establishing an international reputation for directing some of Soyuzmultfilm’s most critically acclaimed children’s films, Lev Atamanov also began to work in an innovative new way. BALLERINA ON THE BOAT combines his passions for ballet and the French impressionist art of Raoul Dufy with an extraordinary score written by the great Alfred Schnittke. The film was exquisitely choreographed by two dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet.

    Armoire – Director – Andrei Khrjanovsky (1970)

    A short but biting satire on Soviet life. A man moves all of the furnishings from his apartment into his closet. Film censors saw it as a critique of mediocrity. For Khrjanovsky, it was the story of a man trying to hide from the unpleasant world. Scored by Alfred Schnittke, the film was well-received in the USSR but not shown abroad.

    Battle at Kerzhenets – Director: Ivan Ivanov-Vano & Yuri Norstein (

    This film depicts the struggle of Russian people against foreign invaders. Ivanov-Vano recognizing Norstein’s talent, gave his young protégé considerable artistic freedom during production of this film and a co-directing credit. Fresco and icon paintings in the traditions of the ancient masters are combined with music from Rimsky Korsakov’s opera Tale of the Invisible City Kitezh.

    Butterfly -Director: Andrei Khrjanovsky (1972)

    A boy catches butterflies and put them in a glass jar. Once, however, a butterfly grows to such an enormous size that it catches the boy. Having suffered imprisonment, the boy becomes content to recognize the beauty of nature. BUTTERFLY was the first Khrjanovsky film to be shown at international festivals. Scored by Alfred Schnittke.

    Island – Director: Fyodor Khitruk (1973)

    Considered by many to be Khitruk’s greatest work. The story of a little man marooned on an island, bypassed by the modern world.

    Volume 3

    Tale of Tales – Director: Yuri Norstein (1979)

    Written by playwright Ludmila Petrushevskaya and based on his childhood memories. TALE OF TALES is Norstein’s masterpiece and generally considered one of the greatest animated films ever made. It was the third collaboration among Norstein, his wife, the artist Francesca Yarbusova, and cameraman Alexander Zhukovsky. Zhukovsky photographed houses and even old cars in the Moscow neighborhood where Norstein grew up, and Yarbusova turned them into art. A difficult film from the onset, TALE OF TALES, made studio administrators and film ministry censors very nervous. The first script was rejected. The second was approved, but after four months of preparation production was halted for a year. Itr took Norstein thirteen months to complete the film, which was then rejected by state film censors who were terrified of possible hidden meanings. They rejected the original title – There will Come a Little Grey Wolf. Norstein, without much thought, suggested TALE OF TALES, a phrase from a Turkish poem by Nazim Hikmet. After considerable lobbying by Fyodor Khitruk and numerous foreign film critics, TALE OF TALES was finally approved for distribution in November 1979 when the team of Norstein, Zhukovsky and Yarbusova received teh prestigious “All State” Award for Hedgehog in the Fog and Heron and Crane.

    Hunt – Director: Eduard Nazarov (1979)

    Nazarov studied with Norstein at the Children’s Art School, They both came to Soyuzmultfilm at the same time. Nazarov worked with Khitruk for twelve years. He served as an assistant on Man in a Frame and as art director with Vladimir Zuikov for Film Film Film and Island. Nazarov directed Hunt after killing one bird and one rabbit on a hunting expedition.

    Last Hunt – Director – Alexander Karavayev (1982)

    A hunting dog falls in love with a wounded bird. Karavayev studied art direction at Soyuzmultfilm together with Yuri Norstein and then became a student of director Ivan Ivanov-Vano, His animation is characterized by humor, lyricism, and satire.

    There Once Was A Dog – Director: Eduard Nazarov (1981)

    THERE ONCE WAS A DOG (1982) directed by Eduard Nazarov. All ten-minute films produced by Soyuzmultfilm had to be completed in four months, whether simple or complicated. It was impossible for Nazarov to finish HUNT, which required drawing each scene by hand, in accordance with the studio’s rigid production schedule. And so despite the success of HUNT, it would be two years before Nazarov was allowed to direct THERE ONCE WAS A DOG. In this film Nazarov used a different, simpler technique, and it was completed “almost on time.” A folk tale told by many cultures, Nazarov decided to set his version in the Ukraine where he had spent many enchanted summers and had come to appreciate the beauty of the people, the countryside and the music. The story is about an old guard dog who befriends the old wolf he once chased from the village. The wolf helps him to become appreciated again by the villagers, and te4h dog thanks him by inviting him to a wedding.

    Travel Of An Ant – Director: Eduard Nazarov (1983)

    To keep this wonderful film from going over budget, Nazarov used no composers and no actors. He did all of the sound effects by himself.

    Lion And Ox – Director: Fyodor Khitruk (1983)

    Khitruk’s last film further developed his own very individual style into a new direction. A lyric morality play, it is based on an African folk tale about how slander and envy can destroy friendship.

    Wolf And Calf – Director: Mikhail Kamenetsky (1984)

    A former cameraman, Kamenetsky helped to revive the animated techniques pioneered by Dziga Vertov in the 1920s, making Soyuzmultfilm an international leader in the “stop motion” genre. His films like WOLF AND CALF are characterized by great humor and soft irony and tell the story of humanity and good deeds.

    Cabaret – Director: Ideya Garanina (1984)

    Inspired by the plays of Federico Garcia Lorca. Shelved by Soviet censors, the film was resurrected and recut after perestroika.

    Old Stair – Director: Alexander Gorlenko (1985)

    Gorlenko has animated more than 60 films and directed more than a dozen prize-winning short features. Among his best, OLD STAIR tells the story of a boy’s ordinary life and his unusual fantasies.

    King’s Sandwich – Director: Andrei Khrjanovsky (1985)

    based on a poem by A. A. Milne, and narrated by Arcady Raikin, one of Russia’s most renowned comedians. For Khrjanovsky, the poem illustrated how a simple human desire can create absolutely irrational problems, out of proportion to the original desire. Soviet censors suspected Khrjanovsky was criticizing the country’s lack of butter.

    About Sidorov Vova – Director: Eduard Nazarov (1985)

    Nazarov spent three and a half years in the Soviet army as a simple soldier based in Berlin. He got rid of a recurrent nightmare that he was going to be drafted a second time by making this film.

    Volume 4

    Doors – Director: Nina Shorina (1986)

    Born in Moscow, Shorina was a popular child actress who studied first acting and then filmmaking at the State Film School (VGIK). She began working at Soyuzmultfilm in 1976 and directed several children’s films, including Poodle. Just prior to perestroika, Soyuzmultfilm’s administration approved DOOR, a script ostensibly about a boy repairing a door, believing it would also be a film for children. However, the film Shorina delivered in 1986 was for a grown-up audience, the first of a trilogy that would explore the Soviet citizen’s reaction to the dramatic political changes sweeping the Soviet Union. The state film censors threatened to shelve the film. After the DOOR won numerous international prizes – by which time the sweeping changes of perestroika had firmly taken root – the censors apologized to Shorina.

    Boy Is A Boy – Director: Natasha Golovanova (1986)

    Golovanova graduated from both the acting and the directing departments of the State Film School. She began work at Soyuzmultfilm in 1971, directing Disney-style animation for children based on Russian and western fairy tales and scripted by her husband, Vladimir. With BOY IS A BOY, she worked for the first time with a female screenwriter, Masha Denego, and explored her experience raising two sons. The Film was well-accepted and shown widely.

    Liberated Don Quixote – Director – Vadim Kurchevsky (1987)

    After beginning work at Soyuzmultfilm as an art director, Kurchevsky became a leading director of stop motion animation for children. In the 1960s he began to address adult viewers. He experimented with new forms of artistic expression and together with Nikolai Serbryakov and Roman Kachanov, took stop motion in new directions. LIBERATED DON QUIXOTE was the first lyrical “auteur” film in this genre. A stylish and ironic retelling of Cervantes’ Spanish classic, the film incorporates Kurchevsky’s background as a graduate of the Muhina Art School in St. Petersburg and as a curator at the Zagorsk Doll Museum. The exquisite costumes and masterly use of lighting and color influenced a generation of stop motion animators in Russia and around the world.

    Matinko – Director: Eduard Nazarov (1987)

    Based on a fairy tale written by Boris Stergin, a great storyteller whose works were not widely distributed in the former USSR because he had never joined the Communist Party. Like the wife of Mikhail Gorbachev, former Secretary General of the Soviet Union, the princess in the story is named Raissa. Only fragments of the film (those without the Princess Raissa) were broadcast by the State Television until Gorbachev was out of power.

    Big Underground Ball – Director: Stanislav Sokolov (1987)

    Made just after perestroika, the film is about the struggle of power between darkness and light in a world of dreams. The film is based on two Hans Christian Andersen stories, “the Marsh Kink’s Daughte

    …if you like, Al, I’ll make copies for you and pass them along.

  46. InvisibleJack permalink
    September 8, 2009 11:17 PM

    The bedbugs from the ceiling fall
    once the light bulb fades and cools
    and inch their face of knives to crawl
    on every part of sleeping fools.

    To copulate or eat your flesh
    is all the same, the thrill they get,
    entangled in your pubic mesh
    to play your secret night-time pet.

    They’ll leave your skin a mottled map
    of red and weeping hills of bites,
    those bugs that wake to eat your nap
    and sate their gory appetites.

    “Bedbugs should be in every bed”
    that’s what the Bedbug God has said.

    Jack Brae

  47. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 8, 2009 11:17 PM

    Bedtime, lunchtime

    It’s a big white sandwich
    that’s ready for grilling
    it’s full-flavoured and rich
    and I am the filling.

    I slide between the sheets
    like I’m buttering bread
    my selection of meats
    is going to your head.

    Now I know I’m tasty
    but try to be cool
    baby, don’t be hasty
    and dry up that drool.

    This sub is here all night,
    come on and take a bite.

  48. September 9, 2009 8:36 AM

    That would be lovely – I noticed the Russian Animation series but funds at the time being what they were plumped for the Norstein collection.

    The first few are lovely but fairly conventional and probably made with the censor’s eye in mind but the later stuff is in a class of its own.

  49. mishari permalink*
    September 9, 2009 8:46 AM

    When it comes, I’ll burn you a copy, Al, and pass it along. I’m looking forward to both collections.

  50. Captain Ned permalink
    September 9, 2009 9:12 AM

    Since making the films included on the DVD, he’s also made a short piece inspired by a Basho poem, I believe. I tried watching it on youtube, but the poor picture quality made me me give up.

    Did anyone catch that splendid animation of Peter and the Wolf that was shown on Channel 4 a couple of Christmasses ago?

  51. mishari permalink*
    September 9, 2009 9:23 AM

    I’m pretty sure I did, Ned. I have a distinct memory of a very impressive P&TW. Trouble is, any TV viewing done during the ‘holiday season’ is usually done in a sort of food and drink induced vegetable stupor, so it’s only a vague recollection.

  52. September 9, 2009 9:26 AM

    Captain I’m sure you have the DVD but if not there’s a bit of the Basho on it plus a bit on the making of it. The poor quality on YouTube is probably because it’s from the DVD footage which isn’t of the HD persuasion.

    I. Am. A. Nerd.

  53. mishari permalink*
    September 9, 2009 10:45 AM

    There’s quite a lot of good animation available on youtube–Polish, Russian etc,. I used quite a bit of it during my brief but dazzling career as a youtube auteur.

    How well I remember it…the critical acclaim, the adulation, the groupies…it seems as though it was only a few weeks ago (it was only a few weeks ago, you idiot–Ed)…

  54. Captain Ned permalink
    September 9, 2009 12:47 PM

    I don’t have the DVD, Al, I just rented it. I must have missed the Basho.

    I also remember there being an absolutely cracking Spitting Image version of Peter and the Wolf from my childhood. It was narrated by the dreaded Sting, but thankfully his muzak wasn’t allowed to intrude upon Prokofiev’s music.

    • September 10, 2009 12:17 AM

      Jesus – are they trying to kill off the entire population? The thought that your lover could randomly turn into Hitler is enough to put anyone off sex… not sure Hitler had such a tight arse though.

  55. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 9, 2009 7:17 PM

    I’ve already watched it 246 times.

  56. mishari permalink*
    September 9, 2009 7:40 PM

    Hitler was a club animal? Who knew?

  57. mishari permalink*
    September 9, 2009 7:42 PM

    BTW, Jonathan Meades ‘does’ Scotland tonight at 9 on BBC4. I always find him very good value…

  58. September 9, 2009 8:10 PM

    On the evidence of that ad and given the developments of the current PotW thread I guess AIDS is another thing we can blame turn of the century NZ poet Ursula Bethell for.

    Incidentally I was working in Germany last weekend and all the German crew on the festival we were working for were surprised that the current Tarantino flick got such bad reviews over here. They loved seeing Nazis getting massacred.

  59. pinkroom permalink
    September 9, 2009 8:30 PM

    …funny you should say that alarming… it does… sort of… you know… make sense… if you… you know… think about it…

    And once the basterds read (tomorrow belongs to) Mowbray’s last post… well it isn’t going to be pretty any way you look at it.

  60. September 9, 2009 9:02 PM

    PinkRoom it was interesting to see that over here the critics were looking at the plot and how Tarantino put it together whereas the people we met in Mainz were tired of dutiful guilty films about the Nazis and just wanted to see them get killed as nastily as possible.

    I’m not a Tarantino fan ( tries too hard to be cool for me ) but it piqued my interest plus it will be interesting to see who gets to play Ursula Bethell.

  61. mishari permalink*
    September 9, 2009 10:24 PM

    It’s all so obvious, Al…NZ poet Ursula Bethell? Geddit? NaZi poet?
    I’ll bet she had one of those little toothbrush ‘taches…

  62. September 9, 2009 10:33 PM

    She was probably a frustrated painter and turned to poetry because it was read by hundreds of millions of people and thus offered her the chance to spread her fantasies about a master-race more effectively than politics could.

  63. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 9, 2009 10:33 PM

    5 – 1! In your face, Croatia!

    I’ve liked the Tarantino films I’ve seen. I didn’t expect to like Kill Bill, but in fact it, or they, were quite engrossing. Hard to deny his narrative verve, surely? I favour Lindsey Lohan for Bethell.

  64. September 9, 2009 10:47 PM

    MM Tarantino can certainly put a film together but for me the dialogue digressions slow the pace down. The cool soundtrack and actors rescued from obscurity are all heavily sign-posted. Of course lots of other films do that too but to a less distracting degree. Given Tarantino’s penchant for 70’s TV actors I’m going for Lindsay Wagner as Bethell. Her background as the Bionic Woman will add to the Nazi super-race angle.

  65. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 9, 2009 11:01 PM

    I like the language stuff. PF was full of good lines – the royale with cheese was particularly tasty, though the biblical quotation was a little tiresome. I can’t remember anything about the dialogue in the others.

    Does Wagner have an interest in the crystals?

  66. pinkroom permalink
    September 10, 2009 12:28 AM

    Not sure about Wagner, but Parisa does.

    Kind of brings us full circle to “Tea for the Tillerman” country… all roads strangely leading back to the blue-remembered bedsits of youth.

    The morning after, some time.

    Beside the bed the sleeve of Tillerman
    and the filters and paper tubes of fags
    torn asunder the night before we ran
    out of dope. China cups and dried tea-bags.

    A collection of crystals laid out on lace.
    Strings of beads, wood and amber hang above
    some drawers full of underwear neatly place’d
    and an antique clothes shop bought pair of gloves.

    The windchimes. The black and white portable
    from which the face of Linsay Wagner glows,
    about to leap. Fur coat in mink or sable,
    an improvised, warming, counterpane shows
    the spent essence of love made on this bed
    and the tips of those brown curls, from your head.

  67. parallax permalink
    September 10, 2009 1:29 PM

    Steve, Alarming

    insert this image

    Melton, if this was the new visual, I doubt you’d watch it more than once

  68. parallax permalink
    September 10, 2009 1:35 PM

    Mish, I think I’m in your spam net because of attempted photo/image link

  69. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 10, 2009 3:34 PM

    Your opinion of me is too high, para.

  70. mishari permalink*
    September 10, 2009 3:43 PM

    Is it just me or is she eerily reminiscient of Virginia Woolf?

  71. freep permalink
    September 10, 2009 3:48 PM

    Doggerelists please note, just found: a site
    http://www.ruthlessrhymes.com/
    dedicated to Harry Graham, of Eton and Sandhurst, a rather fine old racist and elitist petty poet, occasionally mentioned here in the past. He was private secretary to Lord Rosebery in the highest of high Edwardian times, and author of

    Aunt Eliza

    In the drinking-well
    Which the plumber built her,
    Aunt Eliza fell …
    … We must buy a filter.

  72. parallax permalink
    September 10, 2009 3:53 PM

    Oh nicolekidmanwoolfie? yep I can see a familiar longing portrayed in the photo. It’s that fill-my-pockets-with-stones-and-go-fly-fishing-in-the-deep-bit look.

  73. September 10, 2009 4:28 PM

    She’d make a fine Mr. Punch.

  74. freep permalink
    September 10, 2009 4:32 PM

    Well I think she’s lovely. I have a weakness for strong chins.

  75. September 10, 2009 5:18 PM

    “…not sure Hitler had such a tight arse though.”

    Show of hands: how many of you never realized how dead sexy our Addy was, before seeing this ad… ? Mission accomplished, Germans!

  76. September 10, 2009 6:53 PM

    Steven could have been worse – the face of Jeffrey Archer could have suddenly surfaced.

    Presume you have all seen the glut of YouTube clips of Hitler. A particular scene from Downfall subtitled to capture Hitler’s reactions to a variety of contemporary events. I’d add a link but none of my attempts so far have worked properly. Must be this coal-driven lap-top. Anyway some of them are quite funny even if the grasp of spelling and grammar is tenuous.

  77. mishari permalink*
    September 10, 2009 7:04 PM

    I linked to Hitler in Downfall reacting to the death of Jacko (in the subtitles). I don’t think it works as well for Steven because I presume he speaks German every day of his life. It works best if you don’ t speak a word of German, I think.

    I remember Woody Allen’s ‘first film’, where he took this really cheesy Japanese sub-Bond thriller and just over-dubbed all the dialogue. It worked very well. What’s Up, Tiger Lily the film was called (or rather, Allen’s version was called).

  78. September 10, 2009 7:25 PM

    Apparently Hitchcock learnt his craft painting the subtitle panels of silent films. He said you could turn a bad melodrama into a good comedy by putting subtitles in the right places – pretty much what the YouTubers are doing with Hitler.

  79. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 10, 2009 8:20 PM

    I wonder if HLM learned his craft the Hitchcock way. I suppose he’s probably a couple of years younger.

    Isn’t freep confusing noses with chins? Bethell must look like the Mona Lisa compared to his dogg.

  80. mishari permalink*
    September 10, 2009 8:42 PM

    Maybe freep was hanging from the rafters, very like a bat, when he looked at the photo. Best not ask why…

  81. September 10, 2009 9:15 PM

    Maybe you can look at the photo upside down and see an attractive woman with a strong chin and then look at it the right way up and see the winner of the 1927 Virginia Woolf look-alike competition complete with large nose.

  82. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 10, 2009 10:19 PM

    Quarter turn right a shark fin cleaving the surface, qt left a keel cutting the deep.

    What a pity her first name wasn’t Ethel. Another one to add to my collection.

  83. freep permalink
    September 10, 2009 10:28 PM

    Well, I will rephrase that more carefully. It is always dangerous to express the feelings of one’s heart hastily, especially in the fast moving world of the overweb.
    I have a weakness for proboscis monkeys, especially if they like to dress up as an orphanage caretaker’s wife who enjoys whitewashing the inside of chimneys and finds it possible to stab people who swear with a no. 7 knitting needle in the left eye and who believes that what enters the ear can taint the soul, … but who hypocritically adorns herself with ear bling that conceals the lost lemon garnet of Penang, and who wears at her delicate throat the phial which contains the microfilm that holds information detrimental to the property interests of the ruling party on Dunedin Town Council
    and has a strong and somewhat pointed chin.

    I refuse to say more.

  84. freep permalink
    September 10, 2009 10:40 PM

    But I will say a slight thing in defence of the dogg

    ………he is not as bad to look at as a basilisk.
    His bottom teeth exclude him from shows. I believe the technical term is ‘undershot’. But you happen to be right, MM, he is disgusting at the front end, never mind the back. But basilisks are worse. You mustn’t look at them except in a mirror. That Bethell woman has a touch of the Medusa about her, not a bad thing if you like a woman to take a little control.

  85. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 10, 2009 11:20 PM

    Might be time to cut down on the laudanum, freep. Two bottles a day is probably sufficient.

  86. mishari permalink*
    September 10, 2009 11:46 PM

    Cut down? Bah…for hard nuts like freep and me, two bottles is breakfast. That’s the trouble with you soft southerners with yer Morris dancing and yer croquet and yer Pimms 57 varieties…no sand.

Comments are closed.