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The Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who have influenced you and will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes, and they don’t have to be listed in order of relevance to you.
I’ve included essayists and lyricists, too. This is really hard without having my bookshelf in front of me!
1. Italo Calvino
2. Kate Atkinson
3. Cormac McCarthy
4. J. K. Rowling
5. William Carlos Williams
6. Roland Barthes
7. Jeanette Winterson
8. Angela Carter
8. Carol Ann Duffy
9. George Mackay Brown
10. Ian McEwan
11. George Harrison/Paul McCartney/John Lennon (heh, is that cheating?)
12. Brian Jacques
13. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
14. Beatrix Potter
15. Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes)
by George Mackay Brown
My father passed with his penny letters
Through closes opening and shutting like legends
When barbarous with gulls
Hamnavoe’s morning broke
On the salt and tar steps. Herring boats,
Puffing red sails, the tillers
Of cold horizons, leaned
Down the gull-gaunt tide
And threw dark nets on sudden silver harvests.
A stallion at the sweet fountain
Dredged water, and touched
Fire from steel-kissed cobbles.
Hard on noon four bearded merchants
Past the pipe-spitting pier-head strolled,
Holy with greed, chanting
Their slow grave jargon.
A tinker keen like a tartan gull
At cuithe-hung doors. A crofter lass
Trudged through the lavish dung
In a dream of corn-stalks and milk.
In the Arctic Whaler three blue elbows fell,
Regular as waves, from beards spumy with porter,
Till the amber day ebbed out
To its black dregs.
The boats drove furrows homeward, like ploughmen
In blizzards of gulls. Gaelic fisher-girls
Flashed knife and dirge
Over drifts of herring.
And boys with penny wands lured gleams
From tangled veins of the flood. Houses went blind
Up one steep close, for a
Grief by the shrouded nets.
The kirk, in a gale of psalms, went heaving through
A tumult of roofs, freighted for heaven. And lovers
Unblessed by steeples lay under
The buttered bannock of the moon.
He quenched his lantern, leaving the last door.
Because of his gay poverty that kept
my seapink innocence
From the worm and black wind;
And because, under equality’s sun,
All things wear now to a common soiling,
In the fire of images
Gladly I put my hand
To save that day for him.
Burnt Norton (no. 1 of ‘Four Quartets’), by T. S. Eliot
Because of this:
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.
Also, because it makes me think of Eastertime; it seems to be tradition for various people on the internet (I’m lookin’ at you, Mel & Rachel) to post the FQ around this time, and I can never resist reading it.( Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )
BBC Radio 4 are have made available their American Authors Collection. “To tie in with Mark Lawson’s landmark Capturing America series, Front Row presents author interviews recorded between 1998 and 2009.” Including Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley, Philip Roth… Man, I wish this had been available while I was doing my degree.
Zoe Saldana: a selective filmography picspam. *admires*
The UK season five premiere of Supernatural has been treated to some inspired advertising from the Living team. Someone goes around putting rings of salt around bemused Londoners. Tear-out pentagrams in the Metro. The Marble Arch crumbles. And my favourite: bus stops actually filled with ‘holy water’. “In case of demons, break glass.” Hee!
SPN fic rec: Now Wait for Last Year, by kellifer_fic . Gen. AU. “Dean was made to be a Big Brother, he just wasn’t made to last.” My heart went CRACK when I read this. This sequel’s even more bittersweet than the first.