In the frenzy of dissertating I took some time out to play about on the piano. Here’s the foul progeny. It’s George Herbert’s poem set to a song.

It’s, like I say on soundcloud, half arsed and over hammed. I’m not an actress! But I am desperate to keep creating and sharing. The performance might be pants but I’m pleased with the songwriting.

Here’s the link:



Literary Therapy

The problem with Frodo is that he

1) fails his too-big Quest; his will gives up; he cannot go it alone

2) can’t live afterwards

And that may be why I did too. One of these days there may be some deeper than this thought. Now I content myself with waiflike words because I can, because novels and sentences are rather more powerful and more frightening to make than we sometimes think.

I burnt out on my biggest aspiration; which shouldn’t have been my biggest aspiration, but I fell back into the arms of my true biggest aspiration – God. And the literature exams went…. horribly.

But the day after when I woke up, after feeling dreadfully unemployed for ten minutes, consolation was there. I went back to a very little girl. I read ‘Little Women’. Today I saw a boy move out of his halls of residence carrying a giant teddy. ‘Little Women’ is more than that; I swigged it for consolation, and consolation there is in abundance. And tears, tears; never has a novel moved me so soppily and yet truthfully to tears: the talk of a Comforter pervades the whole spirit of the novel, Amy’s little chapel; Beth waving at the window in the place of their absent mother; controlling anger by looking at God. The pilgrim’s progress: in ‘Little Women’ they are inspired to live on faithfully through fiction, and I’m just another literary generation on, reading God’s fleshed-out word giving hope in the darkest moments of ‘what am I doing here, and will I ever be happy again?’

Getting back to the old favourites, the metaphysical religious poets, though it felt a bit like ascending a ladder at first. And even bewildering T. S. Eliot was kind, introducing George Herbert with some interesting little excerpts, like sugared water on a spoon for a pathetic butterfly, but how appropriate, now:

How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean

Are thy returns! ev’n as the flowers in spring;

To which, besides their own demean,

The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring.

Grief melts away

Like snow in May,

As if there were no such cold thing.


And now in age I bud again,

After so many deaths I live and write;

I once more smell the dew and rain,

And relish versing: O my onely light,

It cannot be,

That I am he

On whom thy tempests fell all night.

(George Herbert is a soul friend).

‘Like Butter Scraped over too much Bread’

‘The Lord of the Rings’ is something I am revising now (for a proper exam). It’s a humiliating experience. When everyone else is having fun (revision week 1 of 2 – why would you?) I go into the coffee shops with my ridiculous little blockbuster novels. Smaller than proper scholarly editions. Horrid little sugary pages…. and I scribble on it with my snickery little pencils. Often incoherently (to all but me muahaha).

The reason: all the way up until now I have been betraying my soul in this class. And now I need to go on a journey of self-discovery. What is this novel, if not what we have been told in lectures? I must argue an ever-so-controversial point ever-so-well. I have to know everything. One slip, and I’m dead. Much like, well, one false slip of the finger, and the Ring is on, and all our plans are laid bare to the Enemy, slaughtered, and me along with them! Which thoughts do not get me to focus much better.

But that is why I am not writing, sleeping, eating, breathing, instead mostly drinking (coffee). Work, work, the self-destructive life of a too-caring English student… studying ‘Paradise Lost’ was like writing in blood, and now I trek the oh-so-heavily-corpse-laden-and-stinking hills of Mordor in search of the glimmering light of Hope in a delusive but epic metatextual blur. With appropriate soundtrack.

If; when; hoping against hope; I return… I shall write again.


What do you do?
Play with words
And let them play with you.

Look at the pollution
And look at us fall,
But don’t you love the decadence
Behind it all?

Love being naughty,
Cry at being dead,
And lay down in a tomb, live,
Cold marble on your head.

Look at the wounds-
The doctor who doesn’t heal,
But maybe, just maybe
Will reveal.