Monday, May 5, 2008


Classes have begun and the reasons why I came to London were reaffirmed as we commenced with the study of this, this and this. Our teacher talked about the poet's lives and the richness that London offered men of up and coming aspirations. Eventually their paths crossed, culminating at a literary revolution. We were instructed to take a short break from class and come back "shod" so we could take a brief walk. We showed up here, looking at the very place where Frost, Thomas and Pound would visit. Frost knocked upon that door. Thomas walked upon that ground and suddenly I found myself retracing steps of greatness. And to think this was just five minutes from where I sleep every night.

London is incredible because of the richness, the spectral connections between past and present. There have been so many people here; people living, breathing, and creating, just by going about their day. They each leave something, adding one more layer to this vast, living, archaeological site we call London. Walking down the street causes me to get catapulted from one century to another and then back again as I encounter so much diversity, history and activity. All of this makes me feel alive. I just can't be indifferent as I pass by.

After class I grabbed my book, pencils, and bag, slipped into something cooler and walked a few blocks to Hyde Park. Forgetting it was a holiday, I was stunned at the absolutely swarming park. The number of children were rivaled only by the number of ice cream cones that everyone seemed to hold in their right hand, and the balls of ice cream stacked high on cones were only outnumbered by soccer balls. It was incredible. The sun woke up the whole population and they all bounded outside to take advantage of a break in the clouds and rain. The day was entirely spectacular--sunshine and a slight breeze--a perfect day for the park.

I settled down under a tree so big that it fit my back like an arm chair and I spent 3 hours reading and studying this for class next Monday. As I read I couldn't help but be impressed with the eidetic images I had of the city that were spurred by lines of prose. It was completely marvelous that a day before I had crossed the Thames and that a few days earlier I saw hyacinth growing in Kensington Garden. This is why I came to London. Learning made living in a city that seems to be in a constant resurrection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dearest paige.
i love reading about all your impressions in london.

did i ever tell you that i love ezra pound and t.s. eliot? i bought "the waste land" in a san francisco 'borders'-store after having read it in a german library. in class 10 i wrote a comprehensive essay on "twentieth century english poetry"... it is so amazing that you talk about it in class.

miss you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...