One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Friday, July 1, 2016

Reading: Air, Scotland, Home

What I scribbled electronically yesterday (6.29.16) as I stumbled out of Bucks, crossed the street into the park, and started my walk: Feeling the need to be transported (w/o analysis in writ): if not in space, then in time. Thus perhaps DQ. And now STC.

Reading: Finished Modiano's Pedigree on the plane to Edinburgh; switched to rereading De Quincey's Confessions in Edinburgh (I walked to his grave early the first morning); started reading Coleridge's letters (spurred by De Quincey and a little bee: Bishop) this morning.

From a letter written by Coleridge to a Mr. Poole:

My mother relates a story of me, which I repeat here, because it must be regarded as my first piece of wit. During my fever, I asked why Lady Northcote (our neighbor) did not come and see me. My mother said she was afraid of catching the fever. I was piqued, and answered, "Ah, Mamma! the four Angels round my bed an't afraid of catching it!" I suppose you know the prayer: --
"Matthew! Mark! Luke and John!
God bless the bed which I lie on.
Four angels round me spread,
Two at my foot, and two at my head."

This prayer I said nightly, and most firmly believed the truth of it. Frequently have I (half-awake and half-asleep, my body diseased and fevered by my imagination), seen armies of ugly things bursting in upon me, and these four angels keeping them off. In my next I shall carry on my life to my father's death.
God bless you, my dear Poole, and your affectionate
S. T. Coleridge 
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