What the f*** is a Pathetic fallacy

This a phrase coined by the chaetophobic (more about this in a later blog) critic and essayist John Ruskin , to call attention to the tendency on the part of second-rate poets (surely not me) to attribute to nature the emotions and motivations of human beings…….. clouds seem sullen,  leaves …

Clues and Labyrinths…

  “How vainly men themselves amaze…………” Old meanings are confusing enough without shoving two into a line, yet that is exactly what Andrew Marvell did without a flicker of compunction in the opening line of The Garden. The modern reader would be almost excused for thinking that narcissistic men are …

Role and Rolls….

  Some fellow ( I can`t remember his name) once said  “All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players” Which rather clumsily segues into this:   To act upon this stage you need, of course, a script, and that script was once given to …

Perry Mason and the Case of the Moth eaten Mink

“Then never mind the gestures,” Mason told him. “We want two thick steaks medium rare, lots of lyonnaise potatoes, some buttered bread, with -” He glanced expectantly at Della Street. Della nodded. “Garlic,” Mason said. –A Perry Mason Mystery; The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink, Erle Stanley Gardner   Erle …

The art of being unfashionable….

I enjoy being unfashionable. To such an extent that I have firmly embraced the deeply unfashionable, from Norman Wisdom films, virtually all monochrome films made in Britain after the war, GK Chesterton, JB Priestley, the terrible musicals of the 1960’s, including the wonderfully bad ‘Half A Sixpence’, Max Wall, Gilbert …

A very short (dull) history of Goodbye..

  Whilst sniffling with this wretched cold and waiting for the kettle to boil , I was thinking about Hamlet – in particular this odd phrase. “Now to my word; It is ‘Adieu, adieu! remember me.’ I have sworn ‘t”. Adieu is a contraction of the old French parting A …

The wonderful world of Bouts-Rimés…..

  I was trying to finish off an article this morning on codpieces. Please don`t ask why, all I can say is that it is paid work, of which I am grateful. Anyway, as usual I got distracted and came across this rather remarkable poem. It was written in 1747 …

How to cheat at chess…..

  Chess, a haven of peacefulness, a group of men and women with solemn expressions bidding to outsmart each other by being extraordinarily clever in moving their pieces around a small board. To the victor, a small trophy and the warm glow of being a smart arse? Certainly not, chess …

To be sent to Coventry……

  To be Sent To Coventry is to become a social outcast and be ignored by everybody. But why poor old Coventry?   During the English Civil War in the mid-1600s Coventry was a strong Parliamentarian town, and Royalist soldiers, captured during the early battles in the Midlands, would be …