Guy Isnard, one of the first police officials to specialize in art forgeries, curating an exhibition of fakes at the Grand Palais, Paris, 1955.
Photo by Robert Cohen (via)
About twenty years ago
Two girls came in where I worked—
A bosomy English rose
And her friend in specs I could talk to.
Faces in those days sparked
The whole shooting-match off, and I doubt
If ever one had like hers:
But it was the friend I took out,
And in seven years after that
Wrote over four hundred letters,
Gave a ten-guinea ring
I got back in the end, and met
At numerous cathedral cities
Unknown to the clergy. I believe
I met beautiful twice. She was trying
Both times (so I thought) not to laugh.
Parting, after about five
Rehearsals, was an agreement
That I was too selfish, withdrawn,
And easily bored to love.
Well, useful to get that learnt.
In my wallet are still two snaps
Of bosomy rose with fur gloves on.
Unlucky charms, perhaps.
- Philip Larkin
Potential pithy dissertation titles for the most morbid ten thousand words I will ever hope to write:
Anthony Van Dyck, Portrait of a Woman with Roses (detail)
Apparently all it takes to change my mind about independence is an hour long tutorial about modernist literature and a supervision about poetic silence.
I think being back in Scotland changes things a lot.
Woman reading. New York Public Library, 1944.
“[His] library was a fine dark place bricked with books, so anything could happen there and always did. All you had to do was pull a book from the shelf and open it and suddenly the darkness was not so dark anymore.” ― Ray Bradbury, Farewell Summer
Had a dream I went to see Kate Bush play at the Apollo and met a girl from school in the bathroom who was weeping over her boyfriend’s inexpensive gift and its inexpensiveness and I had to sit there for what I would guesstimate to be three quarters of an hour and missed everything. When I came back out, Kate had finished her set and wasn’t performing an encore.
I would like to say that this suggests I feel limited by other people’s problems, but I think it’s probably more to do with the fact that I’m practically prostate with grief that Kate’s residency a mile from my house is almost over and I will probably never see her play in my whole life.
"The only recorded instance of Philip Larkin shedding tears was in March 1979. His secretary Betty Mackereth remembers how, “He just stood at the window of his office, looking out, and said: ‘I mowed the lawn last night; and I killed the hedgehog.’ And tears rolled down his face.” The hedgehog had been a frequent visitor to his garden. The next day he wrote a poem about the incident, as if the animal shared his humanity. It is sobering to think of the master of poetic gloom as a lachrymose Mr Tiggy-Winkle."