Saturday 7 February 2009

Saturday musings

Am I the only person who enjoys reading the Dear Ceefax letters on p. 145? In it you will find, time and again, the most priceless gems. Here’s one from today:

“I regularly find myself in large halls full of elderly people. Apart from a few receding pates, virtually all the men over 60 have full heads of hair.

So why is it that so many (mainly British) chaps between the ages of 20 and 50 are now either completely or almost bald?

A crowd of young men now resembles a tray of eggs. Is it something in the water?”

I am going to miss these pages very much when there’s the big switch to digital. It’s a shame, as this is one of the few reasons I am still paying my TV licence.

* * *

Thanks to Roger Clarke for his unexpected present. After the Dante event at the Calder Bookshop, he came up to me and gave me some wonderful Latin texts. I used to be well versed in that language, but I am now a bit rusty through lack of practice. The addition of Tibullus’s and Catullus’s poems (many of which I used to know by heart in my student’s days) to my library is especially welcome. And a comprehensive Latin grammar will help me bring my Latin up to scratch again.

* * *

From my Ars Poetastrica, or Art of Bad Poetry (ll. 639-642) – a long poem I wrote between 1997 and 1999:

E ora c’è anche l’Internet, che dona
un pulpito virtuale a ogni persona,
offrendo a cani e porci l’occasione
di inquinarci con altra informazione.

And now there is the Internet: this is
a pulpit for what anybody says
which gives pig ignorants their best occasion
to foul our wells with extra information.

Quite ironic I should reproduce these four lines, ten years later, on a blog diary.


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