Sunday, November 15, 2009

bench, suitcases, identity crisis

Posted by PicasaComposition under a bench.
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In a short story set in the 70s, John Updike describes Aeroflot air hostesses as " hefty as packed suitcases".
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On the BBC Shipping Forecast, surely among the corporations better programmes, I hear, with pleasure, of gales in sea area, Dogger " losing their identity".

3 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

The phrase "losing their identity" is all the more remarkable when one imagines the half-dozen or so other options that might have been chosen. But then when I think again, perhaps there is no other single-word alternative. In which case it's one of those very rare occasions of accidental poetry. Now I'm started on this I ponder the other parts of the forecast in which conditions are reduced to single words. There is a solemnity that finds its echo in a recording of a certain poet reading four of his best-known works. I know I've said this before but hearing this litany in a small craft out on the Bay of Biscay removes all thoughts of the technology that's bringing this to you and connects you with some big names... No, strike all that out. Too fanciful.

Plutarch said...

I'll strike nothing out. Unconscious poetry is a fascinating subject. There used to be a printed notice (with a picture of a request stop on one side of the text and an ordinary stop on the other), on London buses, which caught my fancy in my green and salad days. It went:
"At the sign shown on the right, all buses stop. At the sign on the left, the bus will only stop if you hail the driver.
Do not get on or off a bus while it is standing at the traffic lights."
There is precision about these words which still allows a degree of ambiguity and touches the imagination.

herhimnbryn said...

I miss the shipping forecast.