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About jfp

  • Birthday February 20


  • Biography
    jfp = John from Paris [where I've now been "from" for over 28 years]
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    Reading (mainly fiction, in English and French...); baritone in semi-professional choir; pianist.
  • How did you hear about this site?
    Thanks to my Aussie friend Kimberley

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  1. It's gone very quiet here... So here's an old favourite: "Whenever I plunge my arm, like this, In a basin of water, I never miss The sweet sharp sense of a fugitive day Fetched back from the thickening shroud of grey.     Hence the only prime     And real love-rhyme     That I know by heart     And that leaves no smart, Is the purl of a little valley fall About three spans wide and two spans tall Over a table of solid rock And into a scoop of the self-same block; The purl of a runlet that never ceases In stir of kingdoms, in wars, in peaces; With a hollow, boiling voice it speaks And has spoken since hills were turfless peaks." "And why gives this the only prime Idea to you of a real love-rhyme? And why does plunging your arm in a bowl Full of spring water, bring throbs to your soul?" "Well, under the fall, in a crease of the stone, Though where precisely none ever has known, Jammed darkly, nothing to show how prized, And by now with its smoothness opalised,     Is a drinking-glass:     For, down that pass,     My love and I     Walked under a sky Of blue with a leaf-wove awning of green, In the burn of August, to paint the scene, And we placed our basket of fruit and wine By the runlet's rim, where we sat to dine; And when we had drunk from the glass together, Arched by the oak-copse from the weather, I held the vessel to rinse in the fall, Where it slipped, and sank, and was past recall, Though we stooped and plumbed the little abyss With long bared arms. There the glass still is. And, as said, if I thrust my arm below Cold water in basin or bowl, a throe From the past awakens a sense of that time, And the glass we used, and the cascade's rhyme. The basin seems the pool, and its edge The hard smooth face of the brook-side ledge, And the leafy pattern of china-ware The hanging plants that were bathing there. "By night, by day, when it shines or lours, There lies intact that chalice of ours, And its presence adds to the rhyme of love Persistently sung by the fall above. No lip has touched it since his and mine In turn therefrom sipped lovers' wine." Thomas Hardy, "Under the Waterfall"
  2. What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, I have forgotten, and what arms have lain Under my head till morning; but the rain Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh Upon the glass and listen for reply, And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain For unremembered lads that not again Will turn to me at midnight with a cry. Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree, Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one, Yet knows its boughs more silent than before: I cannot say what loves have come and gone, I only know that summer sang in me A little while, that in me sings no more. Edna St. Vincent Millay
  3. Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea, But sad mortality o'er-sways their power, How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea, Whose action is no stronger than a flower? O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out Against the wreckful siege of battering days, When rocks impregnable are not so stout, Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays? O fearful meditation! where, alack, Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid? Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back? Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid? O, none, unless this miracle have might, That in black ink my love may still shine bright. Shakespeare, Sonnet 65 (Not sure why this has appeared the way it has...)
  4. I recall seeing the film when it was first released. Luscious photography, and fine perfomances by Kenneth Branagh and Colin Firth.
  5. IAGO How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees? Thou know'st we work by wit, and not by witchcraft; And wit depends on dilatory time. Does't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee. And thou, by that small hurt, hast cashier'd Cassio: Though other things grow fair against the sun, Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe: Content thyself awhile. By the mass, 'tis morning; Pleasure and action make the hours seem short. Retire thee; go where thou art billeted: Away, I say; thou shalt know more hereafter: Nay, get thee gone. Shakespeare, Othello II/iii
  6. Heather: Oh yes, those flat old pennies, chunky twelve-sided "thruppenny bits", florins, half crowns etc. My grandfather had a groat (an old coin worth four pence... or rather fourpence...) I wonder what ever became of it: perhaps one of my cousins has it... She dwelt among th' untrodden ways Beside the springs of Dove, A Maid whom there were none to praise And very few to love: A Violet by a mossy stone Half-hidden from the Eye! — Fair, as a star when only one Is shining in the sky. She lived unknown, and few could know When Lucy ceased to be; But she is in her Grave, and Oh! The difference to me. William Wordsworth, "Song"
  7. Words as plain as hen-birds' wings Do not lie, Do not over-broider things - Are too shy. Thoughts that shuffle round like pence Through each reign, Wear down to their simplest sense, Yet remain. Weeds are not supposed to grow, But by degrees Some achieve a flower, although No one sees. Philip Larkin - "Modesties"
  8. Cut grass lies frail: Brief is the breath Mown stalks exhale. Long, long the death It dies in the white hours Of young-leafed June With chestnut flowers, With hedges snowlike strewn, White lilac bowed, Lost lanes of Queen Anne's lace, And that high-builded cloud Moving at summer's pace. Philip Larkin, "Cut Grass"
  9. If hands could free you, heart, Where would you fly? Far, beyond every part Of earth this running sky Makes desolate? Would you cross City and hill and sea, If hands could set you free? I would not lift the latch; For I could run Through fields, pit-valleys, catch All beauty under the sun — Still end in loss: I should find no bent arm, no bed To rest my head. Philip Larkin
  10. So am I as the rich, whose blessed key Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure, The which he will not every hour survey, For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure; Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare, Since, seldom coming, in the long year set, Like stones of worth they thinly placed are, Or captain jewels in the carcanet. So is the time that keeps you as my chest, Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide, To make some special instant special blessed By new unfolding his imprison'd pride. Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope, Being had, to triumph; being lack'd, to hope. Shakespeare, Sonnet 52
  11. Do you remember an Inn, Miranda? Do you remember an Inn? And the tedding and the spreading Of the straw for a bedding, And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees, And the wine that tasted of the tar? And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers (Under the dark of the vine veranda)? Do you remember an Inn, Miranda, Do you remember an Inn? And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers Who hadn't got a penny, And who weren't paying any, And the hammer at the doors and the Din? And the Hip! Hop! Hap! Of the clap Of the hands to the twirl and the swirl Of the girl gone chancing, Glancing, Dancing, Backing and advancing, Snapping of the clapper to the spin Out and in - And the Ting, Tong, Tang of the guitar! Do you remember an Inn, Miranda? Do you remember an Inn? Never more; Miranda, Never more. Only the high peaks hoar; And Aragon a torrent at the door. No sound In the walls of the Halls where falls The tread Of the feet of the dead to the ground, No sound: Only the boom Of the far Waterfall like Doom. Hilaire BELLOC, "Tarantella"
  12. HENRY V Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember with advantages What feats he did that day: then shall our names. Familiar in his mouth as household words Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember'd; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. Shakespeare, Henry V (IV/iii)
  13. When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me, And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people’s gardens And learn to spit. You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes. But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. We must have friends to dinner and read the papers. But maybe I ought to practise a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. Jenny JOSEPH, "Warning"
  14. Can't Stop the Music - Village People
  15. Indeed! (And the name of the (one-shot) poster is no less bizarre.)
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