The central feature of this web-page (in contrast to the other two under my name - one on the Crisis in Higher Education and the other related directly to my Current Teaching) is to acquaint you with the broad sweep of my work and to invite you to share in some of my concerns. Because my work comes from different sets of preoccupations, I am not going to lay them out for you here. This, and the other two sites, are occasions for you to make your own explorations. Enough to say for the moment that my driving concerns are to try to make sense of, and give creative impetus towards making sense of the troubled world in which we live. Hopefully this will help us to avoid the deep cynicism that pervades much of what passes for scholarship and keep us from burying ourselves in post-modern tribalism. The quotes that accompany this site do, I hope, establish a trail from the philosophically anguished to the hopefulness of being which is transcendent through nature and the pleasures of city living. You may reach me via e-mail: email@example.com stating as Subject: Dance the Orange.
Should lanterns shine, the holy face|
Caught in an octagon of unaccustomed light,
Would wither up, and any boy of love
Look twice before he fell from grace.
The features in their private dark
Are formed of flesh, but let the false day come
And from her lips the faded pigments fall,
The mummy cloths expose an ancient breast.
I have been told to reason by the heart,
But heart, like head, leads helplessly:
I have been told to reason by the pulse,
And, when it quickens, alter the actions' pace
Till field and roof lie level and the same
So fast I move defying time, the quiet gentleman
Whose beard wags in Egyptian wind.
I have heard many years of telling,
And many years should see some change.
The ball I threw while playing in the park
Has not yet reached the ground.
Dylan Thomas: "Should Lanterns Shine"
While they had been untangling together the history of transgression, the fire went out;|
also, the small, white, shining winter moon in the top left-hand corner of the top left-hand pane of the few sheets of clear glass in the window had,
accompanied by its satellite star, completed the final section of its slow arc over the black sky. While Jeanne stoically laboured over her lover's
pleasure, as if he were her vineyard, she laying up treasure in heaven from her thankless toil, moon and star arrived together at the lower
right-hand windowpane. If you could see her, if it were not so dark, she would look like the victim of a robbery; her bereft eyes
are like abysses but she will hold him to her bosom and comfort him for betraying to her in his self-disgust those trace elements of common
humanity he has left inside her body, for which he blames her bitterly, for which he will glorify her, awarding her the eternity promised by the poet.
The moon and star vanish.
Angela Carter: Black Venus
Wait..., that tastes good.... But already it's gone.|
.... A few notes of music, a tapping, a faint
hum -: you girls, so warm and so silent,
dance the taste of the fruit you have known!
Dance the orange. Who can forget it,
drowning in itself, how it struggles through
against its own sweetness. You have possessed it.
Deliciously it has converted to you.
Dance the orange. The sunnier landscape -
fling it from you, allow it to shine
in the breeze of its homeland! Aglow, peel away
scent after scent. Create your own kinship
with the supple, gently reluctant rind
and the juice that fills it with succulent joy.
Rainer Maria Rilke: Sonnets to Orpheus XV (trs Stephen Mitchell)