Iconic Photo 1885: the Hand of Mrs Wilhelm Rontgen

 Dr Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen didn’t just ask his wife for her hand in marriage…. he photographed it as an x-ray.  This is the first medical x-ray photograph.  His work won him the first Nobel Physics prize. His wife saw it in a more philosophical light: “I have seen my death”, she said. From the seriesContinue reading “Iconic Photo 1885: the Hand of Mrs Wilhelm Rontgen”

*Well-worth viewing TV prog

The excellent documentary on politics and painting: “Andrew Marr on Churchill: Blood, Sweat and Oil Paint” is being repeated on BBC i-Player at the moment.  It will be of interest to art historians, researchers into WW2 and people who, like Churchill, are keen amateur painters (he painted over 500 canvases) or, like Andrew Marr, recoveringContinue reading “*Well-worth viewing TV prog”

“The hour of the Wolf”

4 a.m. is a particularly dark time of the morning – I remember hearing someone described warmly as an “Hour of the Wolf friend” – someone you could ring at 4 am, when the worries of the world came thudding into your brain, all at once – and they would take your call and listen.Continue reading ““The hour of the Wolf””

The absurdity of writing/not writing poems

If writing a poem seems absurd – still, why not?  Perhaps it’s equally strange not to write? Our encouragement to write, today, is from Nobel poet, Wislawa Szymborska of Poland I prefer to leave early. I prefer talking to doctors about something else. I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations. I prefer the absurdity of writing poemsContinue reading “The absurdity of writing/not writing poems”

Poetry/wonder (Lucille Clifton 1936-2010)

Happy Birthday, poet Lucille Clifton.  We celebrate you; your arrival and what you made, in the time that you had. “The mistake teachers sometimes make is that they think art and poetry – they think that’s about answers and it’s not about that, it’s about questions.  So you come to poetry not out of whatContinue reading “Poetry/wonder (Lucille Clifton 1936-2010)”

It’s Raining, dancing

It’s raining stair-rods and chairlegs, it’s raining candelabra and microwaves… It’s raining jellyfish, it’s raining nuts, bolts and pineal glands, it’s raining a legion of fly noyades, it’s raining marsupials and echnidae, it’s raining anoraks in profusion. It’s siling, it’s spittering, it’s stotting, it’s teeming, it’s pouring, it’s snoring, it’s plaining, it’s Spaining. from theContinue reading “It’s Raining, dancing”