Filed under: Arts, books, creativity, life | Tags: death, grief, H is for Hawk, hawk training, Helen MacDonald goshawk, How to overcome grief, mark gorman
H is for Help.
H is for Haunting.
Either could have been the title, but the fundamental of this book is the hawk that occupies it’s central plot.
Mabel is a young goshawk bought by Helen MacDonald in the wake of her father’s death. She sets herself a distraction from her profound grief to train this wild beast to the exclusion of everything else in her life.
It’s a return to her childhood where she had a fascination for hawking, partly fuelled by a 1950’s treatise on the subject written by closet homosexual T.H. White and author of what became both Camelot and The Sword in the Stone. It’s a book she disliked intensely at the time but that she has come around to as she sets out to make Mabel a controllable accomplice (she’ll never be a pet).
I’ve never read a book even remotely like this. Macdonald is a poet and that certainly comes through in some of the long descriptive chapters that capture her state of mind (not healthy) and the world she is drawn into.
Rarely can anyone have written such a loving description of the English countryside with its unwritten rules, its foibles and its power.
In fact rarely can a book like this have been written.
It operates on three levels. An unburdening of Macdonald’s grief for the death of her beloved father. An unsympathetic biography of T.H. White and a rip-roaring coaching manual on goshawk rearing.
It’s not an easy read but it’s a profound one and it threatens to become a modern classic in a category all of its own.
I would highly recommend it.
Filed under: Arts, creativity, humour, life, Scotland | Tags: death, Glasgow, glasgow entertainment, glasgow humour, Glasgow zombie walk, horror, undead, zombie
Zombieism is an art form.
Let’s face it. Making a zombie movie is so easy on the face of it that you’d die laughing. Until you try. Then you might DIE.
There is some utter zombie shit out there and the genre needs protection as much as it needs celebration.
So, this initiative, to live the (un)life must be applauded, albeit with hands that break up on contact.
Be there or be alive.
Filed under: Arts, music | Tags: canadian folk, canadian music, cancer, death, Folk music, kate and anna mcgarrigle, Kate mcgarrigle, kate mcgarrigle dies, loudon Wainwright, martha wainwright, rufus wainwright, the mcgarrigles
I was sorry to hear that Kate McGarrigle, sister of Anna, wife of Loudon Wainwright and mother of Martha and Rufus, passed away at the age of only 63 yesterday. The family’s Christmas Hour album is a festive cracker and she and her sister brought respectability and beauty to folk music for a very wide audience.
Filed under: Arts, photography, politics, stories | Tags: carol ann duffy, death, photo, photography, photojopurnalism, poetry, robert capa, spanish civil war, the barbican, the times, war, war photography
I saw this article in the Times today. It’s a remarkable photo and a remarkable poem. Carol Ann Duffy was asked to select a photograph from The Barbican’s War show of photos by Robert Capa, and write a poem to capture the ‘capture’.
I love the way the poem interprets the photo in paradox. It counterpoints the face value interpretation(s) that one might reach with the harsh reality that this is a man captured at his moment of death.
I like the way that it disses the youth culture of today, a culture that is not encouraged to stop and reflect, merely to observe, glance, half consider, dismiss.