I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Opera - not as serious as it looks

My attempts at verse have encouraged both Plutarch and Lucy to send me books of and about poetry, adding several cubits to my metric stature. Soon I may qualify as a poetaster (“a contemptuous name often applied to bad or inferior poets”). Peter Porter’s collected poems, from Lucy, comes with a recommendation to read pages 301- 302 which include nine short poems about opera.

Since Mrs LdP and I failed to return to the second act of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor transmitted from the Met a few months ago, you can imagine my delight at these lines from Porter’s Lucia In The Sky With Diamonds:

Her lover, equipped by the Scottish
Tourist Board, is going to bring
Italian opera into church…
…extols a carnal love
or sepulchre of kisses wearing kilts.
The same contrivances evading death
honour a tone-deaf poet’s end.

I’ve never been tempted to attend La Scala and this two-liner may explain why:

Taught to suck from capitalist sores their venom,
Marxist First Nighters dress in well-cut denim.

And, despite what I recently posted about Wagner, publishing these lines shows I too have misgivings about modernised opera:

With that “dumme Knab” Siegfried around
Fafner had to be a sluggish dragon,
Wotan a quenchless ancient
And Brűnnhilde in the Red Brigades.

MY OTHER SELF As if walking through a graveyard I sought one of the rotting posts in Works Well and was amused to discover that Barrett Bonden, surrounded as he was by trivia, appeared as a more rounded character than LdP. The latter seems like a man obsessed, never a centimetre away from a chromatic scale. It is a distortion, of course. I still cough, fall out with Mrs LdP, puzzle over Amélie Nothomb’s Stupeur et Tremblements and watch Six Nations Rugby.


  1. Nice hubcaps she's wearing. In some neighborhoods in my county, she wouldn't make it out of the parking lot in that get up - too much bling for some people to ignore.

  2. "What size is it?"
    "It says, K-L-E-I-N."
    (from the German Week episode of Are you Being Served)

  3. The Crow: Hey, just a minute, I chose her as a joke. Nobody does Wagner these days with horned helmets. In any case she carries the ultimate deterrent; interfere with her and she screams; everyone within 150 metres goes to Casualty with ruptured eardrums.

    RW (zS): Tell me, for hugely important cultural reasons: you're not really watching Are You Being Served. Are you? I mean if you are that invalidates everything witty, profound, revelatory and instructive I've said over the last three years in Blogland. How can I defend myself? I come from the country that made that wretchedness. And thus I no longer have any intellectual status.

    At least German Week isn't going to broadcast 'Allo. 'Allo. The absolute pits. You realise this is the end RW (zS). Farewell!

  4. Hey, yourself, there, bud! You don't know how desperate things have become in my neck of the woods. Some of our miscreants will steal anything, given the opportunity, no matter how loud the car alarms. (And I'm betting hers is a doozey!)

    Lovely to see you in such good humor this morning, too. Seriously.

  5. As they say in Japan, leraxu, leraxu. Be at ease. I'm not watching "Are you being served." It's just that everybody tells me about THE German episode. That particular scene is quite funny, at least for this German-American woman. Your photo of Brunni in hubcaps made me recall it. Thanks for the smile!

  6. The Crow: Remarkably prescient. Various reverses had conspired to make me feel gloomy the previous week and I was emerging - somewhat happier - to discover hub-caps. Perhaps this particular noun can now be a coded greeting. Rather than wish you, say, Happy Christmas I can simply write "hub caps". Which, come to think of it, is the same acronym.

    RW (zS): Cheering news. Often rubbish served up in one country can - via a process no one understands - transform itself itself into high sophistication in another. Thus Jerry Lewis may have been awarded the Légion d'Honneur by the French, our knockabout cut-rate Chaplin figure Norman Wisdom became a national hero in Albania (I kid you not), and the vulgarian comedian Benny Hill seems to have gone down a storm throughout half the world. For all I now Are You Being Served may have seemed more plausible in German, in which case the BBC may have been tempted to do the impossible - to interest educated foreigners in Men Behaving Badly, a programme I have never seen, given its hideous title.