Next week I will read from the first draft of a new chapter in my book, at the Sounding Space Symposium in London.
I wrote this chapter as I was immersed in Robert Duncan’s The H.D. Book, that immense work of criticism and autobiography, that feast of literary pleasure, layered work of abandon and dedication which voices a writer’s proximity to, and need for, a silent conversation with other writers.
At one point Duncan reports how in 1891, a month before her death, Madame Blavatsky closed her last essay with a quotation from Montaigne:
‘I have here made only a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.’
Duncan writes of this string as ‘the thread of her argument, a wish that she, and mankind with her, might be released from the contradictions of dream and fact, creative idea and actuality, that tortured her spirit.’
I like to think of my next book as a nosegay. The culled flowers: you’ve seen and read many of them in this blog. The string is in my reading. The title of my chapter is but the string that ties them. Here, I write about three verses of a certain poem, and about a half-remembered lullaby which I may or may not have heard.