A Place To Stand
Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world. —Archimedes, 220 BC.
The 22nd of November marked the 17th anniversary of the death of Anthony Burgess. Best known (rather unfairly, in my view) for A Clockwork Orange, Burgess was that most suspect of creatures (in Britain, at least): a polymath.
Novelist, playwright, poet, composer, linguist, translator, essayist, critic and intellectual gadfly, Burgess possessed the kind of casual brilliance that needled and infuriated his less gifted contemporaries.
For me, his most appealing creation was the poet F.X. Enderby, whose picaresque (if not downright surreal) life Burgess chronicled in four novels: Inside Mr. Enderby (1963), Enderby Outside (1968), The Clockwork Testament, or Enderby’s End (1974) and Enderby’s Dark Lady, or No End of Enderby (1984).
If you’ve never read the books, I can’t recommend them highly enough. Penguin published the first three in a single paperback volume in the 80s and 90s and it’s probably available on Amazon for a pittance. It’ll be, I assure you, a pittance well spent. They are hugely entertaining.
One of Enderby the poet’s many idiosyncrasies was that he wrote his best work while sitting on the toilet and voiding his bowels.
Let’s have poems on ideal places for writing, either experienced or imagined.