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Rated: 13+ · Book · Biographical · #2063101
No doubt obscure and irreverent, or irrelevant thoughts.
Here is the first entry to see if this works.
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December 13, 2018 at 4:15pm
December 13, 2018 at 4:15pm
I had a day off, so I decided to tweak my portfolio, and added a couple of sub-folders to my poetry folder. This was possible because I saw that I'd written a few poems that were about art, or music. That said, today's offering is about a fish and chip supper. Incidentally it is not autobiographical, I don't like beer and don't go out drinking anyway. (I do however adore fish and chips).

It's quite fun coming up with something new each day to write about. I do hope to write something specifically for the Winter Solstice next week, I may work on that a little in advance as Fridays are busy at work - and that one will be very busy with people having a blow out before breaking up for Christmas, (for the same reason I shall sacrifice my day off next Thursday as we will probably be busier than usual then too).
December 10, 2018 at 5:07pm
December 10, 2018 at 5:07pm
I am sure I was designed to hibernate. I should love to spend most of the winter month's snoozing. If only! But I can't,and as I am in the midst of my own personal poetry challenge for the month, I have to stay awake and write. I did use my 'get out of jail free' card yesterday, and wrote a haiku. Not that I dashed it off, it took a bit of thought to get it right. Today i worked on a poem for my Science Poetry project, which I have posted, although I am sure I shall extend it. It's about the planet Saturn, and I have actually tried very hard to make it more poetic than prose. This is not easy, rhymes for 'hydrogen' or 'polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons' are thin on the ground, although I have to say i think 'polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons' sounds poetic just as it is.

I also have to resist the temptation to explain everything, I'm writing a poem, not an essay. All in all it is a challenging project.

However, tomorrow I plan to have a go at another science poem, to commemorate Voyager 2 leaving the Solar System.
December 6, 2018 at 3:51pm
December 6, 2018 at 3:51pm
Day six, and yes six, count them, six new poems as promised. Today's offering is about an engraver Albrecht Dürer. I've enjoyed studying his complex woodcuts. One of the most intriguing is titled Melencolia I.

There used to be an idea about the body containing four humors, (this idea was called Humorism, and it was probably a laugh a minute). The balance of these humors determined the character of each person, and also their health.

The humors (I'm sure you want to know) were Blood, Phlegm, and Yellow and Black Bile. The Melancholic temperament was associated with Black Bile, and as you might expect was generally thought to be a miserable and morose personality. Dürer however shows the contemplative nature of the Melancholic temperament, a more positive depiction than some.

Melancholic Man  (E)
Personal reflection on the life of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
#2176632 by Robin - I'm a Blackstar

December 3, 2018 at 6:16pm
December 3, 2018 at 6:16pm
Advent calendars featured in a magazine article from one of the Sunday papers, we have the Telegraph and the Mirror at work so it was one of them. Various odd and usually very expensive advent calendars were features - but for me the most mind boggling was a sex toys advent. At just over £100, it must rate as one of the most tasteless ways to count down to the birth of Christ.

So here I am on the 3rd December - sans advent calendar I may add, BUT, I have written a poem each day of December so far. So, rather obviously, I have decided to continue, and write a poem for every day of December!

I finished last month having written a couple of poems, one of which was my entry for the Political Poem WDC contest run for November. Too late to change it now, but if you'd be so kind as to peruse it would be very grateful:

 Janus  (E)
Political poem written for the November 2018 Journey Through the Genres Competition
#2175804 by Robin - I'm a Blackstar
October 28, 2018 at 7:37pm
October 28, 2018 at 7:37pm
Finally, Part Four of Petite Cosmogonie Portative is translated:

Petite Cosmogonie Portative - Part Four  (13+)
Translated from the French poem by Raymond Queneau
#2173170 by Robin - I'm a Blackstar

On to Part 5.
October 24, 2018 at 6:11pm
October 24, 2018 at 6:11pm
Well there is progress, but not as much as I would like in the translation. I hoped to finish part four off today, but got into stripping paper off a ceiling (do not let it be said that I don't know how to have a good time). There are less than 20 lines to translate - hopefully there won't be quite as many obscure pre-insect lifeforms to track down in them, but I'm not holding my breath.

I'm loving the autumnal sunshine, and the amazing colours of the leaves, along with winter, spring and summer, autumn is my favorite time of year. Not least of which because it has brought new Doctor Who episodes to watch. Doctor Who is the only current television program that I watch. I am very much liking Jodie Whittaker in the role. She was the Doctor within about ten seconds of her first appearance for me, completely won over. Not that I have a problem with a female Doctor, my complaint has long been that the script writing has been awful.

I really enjoyed the first two episodes of the new season, not least of which because the Doctor wasn't saving the universe from the ultimate(ish) horror. This has been in my opinion, overdone. The new stories were much more the Doctor dealing with some local problem, and having fun doing so, though I did scream frustration at the screen when she started channeling David Tennant and started with the sorrys. The Rosa Parks episode that was shown last Sunday, I didn't enjoy, though the actress playing Mrs Parks was excellent, as was the villain of the story. It came over as preachy and heavy handed. It was also unbelievably ridiculous when Yasmin Khan, (played by Mandip Gill) claimed that a class in a British School was named after Rosa Parks.

The companions are great though, and I like the dynamic that is developing between them, all in all I am enjoying Chris Chibnall's take on a character that I have loved for a very long time.
October 17, 2018 at 9:29am
October 17, 2018 at 9:29am
So who are Mr. Dustin and Mr. Smeems I hear you ask, (or possibly not, but this is a contrived question, so I can supply the answer).

They are members of the D.I.I.R.A. - Department of Introspection,Inspiration and Remedial Actions, and they have been called in to identify why I'm not getting anywhere with my writing, despite now having both a desk,and the peace I need.

 The D.I.I.R.A.   (E)
The Department of Introspection, Inspiration and Remedial Actions
#2172273 by Robin - I'm a Blackstar

I've thought about it a lot, and this short piece explains my conclusion.

My holiday was a disaster, and I came home after just one night. So no extra writing there, but I am determined to do something. Watch this space!
October 12, 2018 at 4:06pm
October 12, 2018 at 4:06pm
Finally and after over a month of waiting, a refund and a re order - I have a copy of An Introduction to Welsh Poetry - From the Beginnings to the Sixteenth Century by Gwyn Williams. As luck would have it, I have a few days rare break in Wales, and so it will become my holiday reading. I am looking forwards to it, having read White Goddess by Robert Graves, and (rather shorter) the entry on Welsh Poetry in my Poetry Dictionary. I am hoping to write some more poetry whilst in Wales, (Last year I wrote 'Blackberry'), and maybe even to incorporate some of the ideas i glean from the Introduction.

I have now given blood, but don't feel any compulsion at all to write a humorous television comedy about it

I have begun a short story (?) sort of - it's about an Introspection, and I have created Mr. Smeems and Mr. Dustin to conduct it. More soon.
August 27, 2018 at 1:29pm
August 27, 2018 at 1:29pm
For a few weeks I have been stuck on a line of the poem I'm translating. The line in question,

"Il faut faire exception pour la race de vierges qui sans mâle fournit à des laboratoires le matériel phasmien de moroses carauses"

contains a couple of words that Queneau had devised, and 'the material (something) gloomy (something)' was puzzling me greatly. I had decided to have another go today, and to tackle it by reading about asexual reproduction.

The first part of the line translates as "We must make an exception for the race of virgins that without male provides to laboratory...."

So I looked up asexual reproduction on Wikipedia, and then 'virgin births' (specifying biological not religious). The virgin birth article did mention stick insects, but that did not make any link at this point in the enquiry. I tried looking at fruit flies, which at a certain stage in their life (the wet stage) have a sticky feel to them, (apparently), I wondered if that was the 'matériel phasmien' but decided it wasn't a clear enough link. I briefly looked at tobacco mosaic - which is a virus and not really relevant at all. Then I tried to crack that word 'phasmien' which sounded like phantom (with good reason as it turns out).

I Googled, I used other translators, I found use of the word, but couldn't immediately make a connection (usually the word was in a piece in French). Then I saw that two of the links were about orders of insects, this seemed promising, I found one in English that referred to the phasmids, an order of insect that included ... stick insects. I used Wikipedia again and looked up stick insects and there I saw the Latin Name: Carausius morosus, suddenly I knew that I had cracked this particular problem. The gloomy 'moroses' that had made no sense were a part of the Latin name, as modified for his own poetic ends by Queneau. The stick insect is also known as the 'laboratory' stick insect, a quick flick through my Collins French Dictionary, and I saw that matériel, can also mean 'equipment' in this context 'laboratory equipment'. Phasmein is a Queneau version of the Order of insects 'Phasmatodea'. Which has it's roots in the Latin word phasma - meaning apparition or phantom, a reference to resemblance of many species to sticks or leaves.

I'm sure this is tortuous for you dear reader, but it's an example of how my mind chips away at things. The elation at succeeding at this was a contributor to this being a great day.

The other reason is that I visited Biddulph Grange, a National Trust Gardens. Despite the weather being overcast and threatening rain, I thoroughly enjoyed walking around the various gardens and taking a lot of pictures. More pictures were taken at The Parish Church of St Lawrence, which has several Templar Gravestones (now laid as seating at the side of the church).
August 9, 2018 at 11:59am
August 9, 2018 at 11:59am
Today I managed to get my science themed poetry project moving again. I had decided to alternate between the planets and space exploration for the first part of this project, and stalled on the Apollo 11 moon landing. After a considerable period of time (months!) I decided to make it an acrostic, and to incorporate the names of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. This I have now finally, another several months later, managed to do.

Apollo 11  (E)
Acrostic poem about the first landing on the moon.
#2165781 by Robin - I'm a Blackstar

So, now to plough on with the translating, and to begin, a poem about Jupiter.

I am reading 'The Blue Flowers' by Queneau, The two protagonists only appear when the other is asleep, and it is quite fun so far. I should add that it is an English translation by Barbara Wright that I am using, and not attempting it in the original French.

I am also reading a biography of Richard Fenyman, by James Gleick, which is very good, but has the usual effect of making me feel inadequate.

Finally, I am listening to Bill Bryson's 'A Short History' of nearly everything. I may have to replace my written copy though, as I want to follow up some of the people I am hearing about, and as I listen whilst baking at work, I can't stop to make notes.

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