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.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Calligraphic polyphony

HHB (Perth, Western Australia) is into the graphic arts and it shows in her handwriting. Lovely, legible, regular yet full of character, adding force to whatever she chooses to inscribe. I dropped a comment raving about her recent transcription of A POEM and fantasised about having her transcribe the three-line message which explains Tone Deaf’s aims here on my home page.

A woman of few words she asked to see a sample of my handwriting. Aware, I think, I was beaten regularly for illegibility at Bradford Grammar School which I left with relief for the local newspaper, embracing a typewriter and resolving this defect at a stroke.

Above is a sample (Click pic to enlarge)  but if anything it’s got worse over the years. The sonnet is legitimate meat for Tone Deaf since it’s about singing in a church choir. I have posted it before but to anyone coming to it for the first time there’s a reader-friendly crib below.

Sonnet – Wednesday night practice

The darkened nave entailed a womb of light
Gilding our boyish group. Standing, we sang
The Nunc Dimittis, Angels ever bright,
Stainer – all proof our aims were Anglican.
The words were null, my job to recreate
The notes with an unthinking treble voice.
I soared the heights towards the perfect state
Where notes become a licence to rejoice.
Fatigued by descants, holding volume low,
I left betimes starved like a refugee,
Ate Marmite toast then turned my face from woe
Dispensing with the evening’s ecstasy.
Oh wasteful child who lost that gift along the way
And deeded me this false reed in decay.   


Rouchswalwe said...

hah! Didn't need the crib sheet. A solid sonnet written in vibrant fashion if you ask me.

Julia said...

I like your handwriting. It's not copperplate, but quite readable!

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

RW (zS) and Julia: This turned out to be a curious exercise. I can assure you both that my handwriting is normally execrable but that's because it's much smaller than in this instance. Here I took a sheet of A4 and just let things flow. The sample you see is cropped but the writing occupied about three-quarters of the sheet and I myself can read it. Amazing.

Julia said...

When I read it, I wondered if you were copying or composing as you wrote. Do tell!

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

Julia: You must be joking. There are no fine, careless raptures in my verses. Revision is king. Grinding revision. Composing (your word) suggests a single, continuous action like pouring cement; not only does my stuff resemble brick walls, but walls where many of the bricks are taken out, examined, replaced with other bricks, or re-installed back to front. Verse born out of chaos theory.

Julia said...

Composing isn't continuous, really not. Usually it's hammered out first, then scribbled, hammered out, scribbled, erased with vigor, hammer through again, scribble some more :|| (repeat).

Anonymous said...

If my students were as legible as you I would be most happy.

Avus said...

Do you know' I can see something of HHnB's script in yours.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

Anon: Aha, things have got a little clearer. I see you are in the teaching business. Let me thus apologise in advance for all the disappointments, lapses of taste, downright wrongnesses, futile acts of provocation, self-aggrandisements, etc, etc, you are likely to encounter in Tone Deaf. My experiences with formal education were glancing and unprofitable and I left school at 15. The above failings will become more and more apparent if you stick with this blog, though I hope you do.

Avus: I started out to show how bad my handwriting was here and failed. For the reasons outlined in the response above.

But you're right. There are similarities of angularity in our two "hands". I suppose this is some comfort given HHB's recent sad decision.