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I share below (without comment...which is a personal act that belongs in the real, not the virtual world), an evolving, far from exhaustive, but from an emotional point-of-view, highly illustrative and authentic selection of my favourite poetry and lyrics...
And it's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal
- from Tom Traubert's Blues, by Tom Waits
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)
Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift
So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear
Now online, Paul Hillier et al's Proensa interpretations of the troubadours have long enchanted me - although perhaps not some of the dinner party guests on whom I inflicted the vinyl version at various times in my more earnest past!
Is it really as long ago as the 1980s that I specialised in Medieval Provençal and wrote my dissertation on the amour de loinh of Peire Vidal? Rupert Gordon and I were the only students at Edinburgh to choose the option in many a year (perhaps since the 1950s, judging by the stamps in some of the books I borrowed!), and having been back in the George Square library for the first time since then relatively recently, I wonder whether anyone else has borrowed any of these books since!
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Sometimes we choose to wander, sometimes we are chosen to wander, down the dark deserted halls of memory:
'Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream...
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years...
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.'
Many evenings of my youth were spent listening to Radio Caroline's "Personal Top 30s", from 6-9pm and 9pm-midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. My friends and I would write down, swap, be inspired by and gently criticise each others' choices, but none of us ever got round to posting ours in, and our chance vanished into the North Sea with the Mi Amigo in March 1980.
However, since 2008 I have listened almost constantly to Caroline, which plays "Personal Top 15s" every weekday at 10am CET, but again, I've not summoned the nerve to send mine in.
The way to love anything is to realise that it might be lost - Gilbert Chesterton
All her features lined up, as ever, to mourn for everything that has passed and all that would come to pass - Monica Ali, Brick Lane, p14