April Eye
Scribal Glosses

(homage to the Master of the Macclesfield Psalter)


To understand what is going on here, see the final pages of Truth, Justice and the Companionship of Owls. Note that the numbering system has changed.

Running update, state as of 19th May 2019.


Pennine Tales

poem number/line

i/1 flicker through the trees
"...making a red punctuation in the cursive night..."

ii/8 my sisters
... saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time.

iv/12 the hymn of last or lasting hope
= the song of delayed passengers (16/10)

Etymologically the words complicit, accomplice do or do not imply intent to harm.

vi. The transition from Wuthering Heights via Ted Hughes to penguins was effected by the thought of Modern Poets, how they are transformed over the years from weeping into frozen walls.

vii/5 mournful calling falling sound
"...calls far and long falling as I focus on the fact."
But that was a curlew.

x/1 shine into tomorrow
Shine on, shine on harvest moon.

xi/3-4 hands over the hilltop...
or hands across the sea when both of us are stone.

xi/5-6 a letter of complaint to the town hall
Dear Sir, Don't dig it there, dig it elsewhere. You're digging it round and it aught to be square.

xi/8 and thus sang the old man:
Kiere wider, heil'ge Nacht! Holde Träume, kehret wider!

xvii/11 psalms of lamentation
"When singing the Lamentations choristers should take care never to introduce a single ornament."

xviii/1 all you little vermin
Come all you rolling minstrels And together we will try To rouse the spirit of the earth And move the rolling sky.

xviii/12 the last waltz
... or lasting quickstep

xix/1 sweet primroses...
... that die unmarried, ere they can behold Bright Phoebus in his strength

xix/2 with violets intermixed
... but they withered all when my father died

xix/ 12 ....where our numbers are called in finally
Come in number 19 your time is up.

xx/ 1
There is a History in all men's lives...
Henry IV 2, iii/1. Then let us meet them like necessities.



ii/1-2 A motet by Antoine Brumel:
Salve Regina.

iii/7 the swans singing goodbye on the reservoir
Farewell all joys, O death come close my eyes

iv/2 and one of them says to the other
Where shall we our breakfast take?

v/9 and bugle
the trumpet shall sound, and we shall be changed

vi/11 the black grouse
The grouse around here, though dark in colour, are red grouse, but there was a problem with the phonetics. They kept shouting GOBACK! (to where you once belonged).

x/4 And all the voices make one mutual cry
I never heard So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

xx/7 At Swinside...

xi/1 You tourists who come and go
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

xvi/6 the end of public truth
for trewthe telleþ þat love | is triacle of heuene

xvii/10 the last kind thought (by Geeshie Wiley).
He here assumes that the "Windrush" deportations, since they could have no effect on the relevant statistics, were undertaken purely as a display of the capacity for large-scale cruelty, in case we needed reminding.

Only remembered: for what we have done
Shallow Brown: You're going to leave me


Ring Cairns

i/1 report anything suspicious
Keeping the anxiety level pumped up.

i/10 the world's thought-task
... this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

i/10 the world's thought-task
A great ship setting out for the far side of the ocean. Ship is eyes.

iii/18 bobbing up and down
a.k.a. Sons of the Sea.

ix/13 look down low
Where nobody can find me. Where nobody can hurt me.

xii/7 the riverside lawn
This must be at the back of Trinity College Cambridge, when they lit the lanterns and sang from the flotilla, Draw on sweet Night, best friend unto those cares That do arise from painfull melancholy.

xiii/ 10-12 The dawn song closes the festival
And I'll be a star in the sky, shining faintly above the forest

xiv/12 And did those scarred and blistered feet
Did they what? Did they march to Versailles? And seven times round the walls? And did they blow their horns and shout?

xvi/3 shaped exactly to the task
A dip each side for the cart wheels and a hump in the middle for the horse.

xvi/ 4-5 the vast underground labyrinths created by the Cornish miners
See covers of both volumes of Collected Poems (2019)


Nine Poems

i. Sandy Denny
And then she turned homeward with one star awake, As the swan in the evening moves over the black reservoir and out of sight.

ii. Edgard Varèse
Un grand sommeil noir. And see Cocteau, Discourse du Grand Sommeil (1916-1918) and Wyndham Lewis in Rude Assignment (1950): "The war was a sleep, deep and animal, in which I was visited by images of an order new to me."

ii/4 and in Arabic
"How dare you speak my language!"

The wind shelters are also punctuation marks.

vi/12 Les Filles de Illighadad

ix/11 the last of the wine
La dernière goute de vin s'allume au fond du verre
Où vient d'apparaître un château. (Desnos)

the black river under the station Les Côtes de la Misère
the snowdrops the borders of time
the last of the wine the last of Nora Batty
hope extant: changed, into something near and far
blind rhyme: Now, now that the sun hath veil'd his light And bid the world good night


The glossing process can continue indefinitely, and at a certain point will be taken out of my hands.


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