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Word From Wormingford

Richard on September 24th, 2016

Ronald Blythe considers a young map maker who recorded country houses ROBERT MORDEN was 32 when he published his map of Suffolk. It was covered with a rash of green spots, i.e. the parks of the nobility and gentry. There was no other geographic information. No windmills, no herring boats being blown along by Zephyrus, […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 23 September 2016

Richard on September 24th, 2016

Ronald Blythe attempts to get some work done, in spite of the sunshine I HAVE always, to some extent, responded to Shakespeare’s answer to the work ethic — only such a description of toil did not exist in his day. “Who doth ambition shun And loves to live i’ in the sun. . .” “And […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 16 September 2016

Richard on September 24th, 2016

Ronald Blythe recalls feeling cold as a youth, on a visit to Aldeburgh WE DRIVE to Aldeburgh. The weather is like the Ephesians: neither hot nor cold. I show my friends three graves in the churchyard — Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, and Imogen Holst. There they lie, close in death. The sea flashes through the […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 9 September 2016

Richard on September 24th, 2016

Marvellous words can emanate from prison, says Ronald Blythe NOW and then, not too often, I quote the Duke of Wellington when he was Prime Minister: “They are ringing the bells tonight — they will be wringing their hands in the morning.” The ringers of our tower at Wormingford go up a storey in a […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 2 September 2016

Richard on September 24th, 2016

Ronald Blythe considers Prayers Written at Vailima and Wormingford CHRISTOPHER, the New Zealand bishop’s son, arrives to take pictures of my old farmhouse. While no man from Porlock, he’s always best free of interruptions. The poet Stevie Smith suffered from writer’s block, and prayed for a man from Porlock when stuck for words. Not that […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 26 August 2016

Richard on September 24th, 2016

The disciples were afraid of drowning, says Ronald Blythe Summer days. Each of them unimaginably perfect. Days which I longed for when I was in Australia. And that was ungrateful, because my brother showed me so much to love in New South Wales, which I would then dream about in East Anglia. Mike the churchwarden […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford 19 August 2016

Richard on August 13th, 2016

Ronald Blythe travels to Aldeburgh and joins the suntanned crowd BLISSFUL Mediterranean days, only in Suffolk. Friends from Oxford celebrate them with me at Aldeburgh. I take them to see Benjamin Britten’s grave in the churchyard. Beside him lie Peter Pears and Imogen Holst — the triumvirate who created the festival just after the war, and […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 12 August 2016

Richard on August 5th, 2016

Ronald Blythe reflects on the country silence and gifts of creation “BE NOT afeard, the isle is full of noises,” says Caliban. And so is my ancient garden. At first, one hears nothing, just the old country silence. And then, like the instruments of an orchestra, the sounds introduce themselves: the summer wind in the trees, […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 5 August 2016

Richard on July 29th, 2016

The July heat reminds Ronald Blythe of family visits in the past “SHALL I compare thee to a summer’s day?” asked Shakespeare. Impossible. An English summer’s day is unlike anything else in the world. A dragonfly from my old horse pond who has only a day to live wanders past in its deathless way. Black-and-white cat sisters […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 29 July 2016

Richard on July 23rd, 2016

On a cool evening, Ronald Blythe sits with Mary, Martha, and Alice THE Maltings Farm hayfields were cut yesterday, and now they are being trundled along the horizon in the shape of vast drums. Stripped land is pale and dusty. The sun burns down, and, apart from the haymaking machine, and the everlasting cry of pigeons, there […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 22 July 2016