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Tag Archives Aristotle

‘MARILYN MONROE READING ULYSSES’: EVE ARNOLD (1955)

After the shoot on Long Island’s Cedar Beach

they drove next to a local playground.

While Eve loaded her camera, Marilyn sat

on some play equipment and read a book –

her worn copy of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’,

which she kept in her car, and had been reading

for some time, often aloud to get it’s sense.

(She looks to be about nine tenths through

so into Molly Bloom’s unpunctuated

soliloquy of love and longing).

This photograph of a pretty woman

in her late twenties,

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FEARLESS ARIAS

In the gardens of the Premier’s palace

with its white Baroque facade there are

children’s swings and a red roundabout.

The linden trees the old Archduke planted

though leafless are evergreen with outbursts,

festoons of mistletoe, their berries

opalescent in the gentle wintry light.

A dozen or so mistle thrushes graze

amongst the leaf mould and peck in the branches –

but one, perched at the top of a tree, sings

its trilling, boundless, woodwind airs as if all

of the provinces were quiet and listening.

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COINCIDENCE…

the storyteller’s trapdoor: ‘And it so

happened…’ But it does sometimes. Aristotle

called them ‘accidents’ – and here’s a pile-up!

 

It is a Thursday night – and bell ringing

practice at the parish church we can see

from the long window on the half landing.

Our house was here years before the church

or the houses behind us or in our street.

The Shoulder of Mutton Field was bought

at auction and the first built was ours

more than a hundred and sixty years ago.

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THE COAT HANGER

It is wooden, a gent’s, with ‘Elder Dempster’

machined then varnished into one of

the shoulders. It belonged to the shipping line

which plied between Liverpool and Lagos,

via Freetown and Accra. It was purloined,

accidentally or otherwise,

by my father or mother, possibly

the latter on her last trip home, with me

in her womb, to ensure a safer birth

in temperate climes –  U-Boats permitting.

 

He died of septicaemia three months

after I was born –

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