Tuesday, July 13, 2010

As Seen on TV

Lady, Gentlemen, we are going to have to clean up our act - today this website has been mentioned, nay promoted no less, on BBC Radio 4. Listen to Saving Species on R4 this Thurs evening at 9pm, and find out; only have a large glass of quality red first. From now on, nudity is not to be mentioned herein; no one is to cover themselves with shrimp paste, clothed or otherwise, in any wood; and we are going to have to recognise the existence of women in our movement (well, Liz at least, who is our first Lady).

Being educated persons, those of you who listen to this week's Saving Species will instantly recognise my paraphrase and interpretation of Eliot. This is because the second canto of Burnt Norton provides the perfect training on how to find Purple Emperor 'master trees', or 'sacred groves' as I prefer. Here is Eliot's text, with the Purple explanation in italics -

'At the still point of the turning world.
At a sheltered arboreal high point, somewhere above the breeding ground.
Neither flesh nor fleshless;
winged and scaled;
Neither from nor towards;
Careering around all over the place;
At the still point, there the dance is,
There each afternoon throughout the Season iris males beat the hell out of each other;
But neither arrest nor movement.
Out of sight and out of mind.
And do not call it fixity, where past and future are gathered.
(This is a typically obtuse piece of Eliot, just ignore it: it refers to the timelessness of the Emperor season)
Neither movement from nor towards,
Chasing each other around all over the place,
Neither ascent nor decline.
High and low.
Except for the point, the still point,
They only do this in certain, special places,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
Absolutely nothing else matters, in all existence.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
Keep these places secret, for Heaven's sake. (note bad punctuation)
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

Unless people complain vehemently, I shall conclude this translation of Eliot forthwith... including, the ultimate interpretation of 'Garlic and sapphires in the mud clot the bedded axle-tree... ' by reputation, the most obtuse passage in English verse.

Matthew (competely sober of course).

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