Medieval Bodies
quoted by Jack Hartnell, 2018; original author: Gwerful Mechain, 15th cent.
Page 250
All you proud male poets, you dare not scoff.
Let songs to the quim grow and thrive
Find their due reward and survive.
For it is silky soft, the sultan of an ode,
A little seam, a curtain on a hole bestowed,
Neat flaps in a place of meeting,
The sour grove, circle of greeting,
Superb forest, faultless gift to squeeze,
Fur for a fine pair of balls, tender frieze.
A girl’s thick glade, it is full of love,
Lovely bush, blessed be it by God above.
Medieval Bodies
quoted by Jack Hartnell, 2018, from The Land of Cokaygne
Page 233
In his Canon of Medicine Ibn Sina wrote even less romantically that generation might be compared to the manufacture of cheese, with the clotting agent of the male sperm acting on the milk of the female sperm to coagulate together into a child.
Medieval Bodies
Jack Hartnell, 2018
Page 204
There are private rooms and large halls
All made of pies and pastries are the walls,
Of rich food, fish and meat,
The most pleasing that a person can eat.
Of flour cakes are the roof tiles all,
On the church, cloister, chamber and hall.
Their wooden beams of fat puddings,
Rich food fit for princes and kings.
Medieval Bodies
Jack Hartnell, 2018
Page 181
[An ivory carving] depicts a gathered collection of men and women tightly framed within three architectural niches. These courtly figures – some standing, one seated, another two on the floor – are playing a game known in the Middle ages as Haute Coquille, ’Hot Cockles’, or sometimes La Main Chaude, ’The Hot Hand’, a jaunty name that masks a rther more sexualised pastime. To play, someone is blindfolded and then spanked.
Medieval Bodies
Jack Hartnell, 2018
Page 48
By the end of the Middle Ages, particularily in German-speaking areas of central and eastern Europe, a logic had cemented itself whereby the more extreme and horrible a saint’s martyrdom, the more impressive and devoted was their saintly patience in enduring it.
Cider with Rosie
Laurie Lee, 1959
Page 184
Back down the lane in the thick hot darkness we walk drowsily, heavy with boots. Night odours come drifting from woods and gardens; sweet musks and sharp green acids. In the sky the fat stars bounce up and down, rhythmically, as we trudge along. Glow-worms, brigther than lamps or candles, spike the fields with their lemon fires, while huge horned beetles stumble out of the dark and buzz blindly around our heads.
Cider with Rosie
Laurie Lee, 1959
Page 182
Blackberries clustered against the sky, heavy and dark as thunder, which we plucked and gobbled, hour after hour, lips purple, hands stained to the wrists.
Cider with Rosie
Laurie Lee, 1959
Page 165
It was a revelation of mystery to see him at work, somewhere in a cleared spread of the woods, handling seedlings like new-hatched birds, shaking out delicately their fibrous claws, and setting them firmly along the banks and hollows in the nests that his fingers had made.
Cider with Rosie
Laurie Lee, 1959
Page 157
Finally Jack, unable to keep the secret any longer, told me I’d been prayed for in church, just before the collections, twice, on successive Sundays. My cup was full, I felt immortal; very few had survived that honour. […] I lived on Bovril and dry sponge-cakes. I was daily embalmed with camphorated oils and hot-poulticed with Thermogene.
Cider with Rosie
Laurie Lee, 1959
Page 132
The farmyard muck was brown and hard, dusted with frost like a baked bread-pudding.
Cider with Rosie
Laurie Lee, 1959
Page 119
Our mother was one of those obsessive collectors who spend all their time stuffing the crannies of their lives with a ballast of wayward objects. She collected anything that came to hand, she never threw anything away, every rag and button was carefully hoarded as though to lose it would imperil us all.
Cider with Rosie
Laurie Lee, 1959
Page 101
The old woman cooked, and threw grain to the chickens, and hung out her washing on bushes; the old man fetched wood and chopped it with a billhook, did a bit of gardening now and then, or just sat on a seat outside his door and gazed at the valley, or slept. When summer came they bottled fruit, and when winter came they ate it. They did nothing more than was necessary to live, but did it fondly, with skill then sat together in their clock-ticking kitchen enjoying their half-century of silence.
Der Museumsbesuch
Vladimir Nabokov, 1937
Auf dem Weg trat er in einen Laden und kaufte eine Tüte klebrig aussehender Bonbons, die er mir hartnäckig aufzunötigen versuchte; als ich rundheraus ablehnte, versuchte er, mir einige davon in die Hand zu schütten. Ich zog meine Hand fort. Mehrere Bonbons fielen auf den Gehsteig; er blieb stehen, um sie aufzugeben, und holte mich laufend wieder ein.
Wolke, Burg, See
Vladimir Nabokov, 1937
Wassilij Iwanowitsch, der am wenigsten zu tragen hatte, musste ein riesiges rundes Brot unter den Arm nehmen. Wie ich dich hasse, du unser tägliches!
Footnote to Howl
Allen Ginsberg, 1955
Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel! The bum’s as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy!
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy!
Elizabeth and her German Garden
Elizabeth von Arnim, 1898
Page 104
We had tea on the grass in the sun, and when it began to grow late, and the babies were in bed, and all the little windflowers folded up for the night, I still wandered in the green paths, my heart full of happiest gratitude. It makes one very humble to see oneself surrounded by such a wealth of beauty and perfection anonymously lavished, and to think of the infinite meanness of our own grudging charities and how displeased we are if they are not promptly and properly appreciated. I do sincerely trust that the benediction that is always awaiting me in my garden may by degrees be more deserved, and that I may grow in grace, and patience, and cheerfulness, just like the happy flowers I so much love.
Song of Solomon 7:12-13
Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see whether the vine hath budded, whether the vine-blossom be opened, and the pomegranates be in flower; there will I give thee my love. The mandrake give forth fragrance, and at our doors are all manner of precious fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.