Closing Time

Almost done the 2006 winter colony, and counting down to this evening’s final readings and (thank you artists) studio visits. We have scaled the chip mountain and made our contributions to the local economy. We have written and read and walked and skied and skated and scrabbled. We have exchanged the obscurest trivia and the easiest recipes; blogged and emailed and even pinned writings to our doors. And tomorrow we return to reality.

Wednesday’s afternoon highlight was a visit to St Peter’s Cathedral, with live commentary from Fr. Demetrius. I’d heard about the paintings by Berthold Imhoff from people who’d been there before, and they were something to see in the streaming sunlight.

Spent the past three days wrestling with terza rima. Fiendish, I call it. Paul Farley calls it “the very devil of a form” in his review of George Szirtes’ book, Reel. But it was an invigorating work-out, and although I’m still grappling with a final sticky rhyme (–any suggestions for rhyming “novel” with other than “grovel”??) I might be fool enough to attempt it again sometime. Some other imaginary time when I have the luxury of three days to spend on nothing but sifting three way rhymes for iambic lines. **11:21 Update – since I can’t figure out how to include hyperlinking in comments – Thanks Ariel: hovel it is. I love Rhymezone too but I must say that after this exercise I have developed a renewed passion for my poet-centric Poet’s Manual and Rhyming Dictionary, which gives masculine, feminine and triple rhymes, and makes it fairly easy to work out half rhymes.

Hoping I experience again the miracle of St Peter’s and weigh in at home to discover I haven’t gained (or lost) an ounce despite two weeks of feverish chip consumption, daily cocktails, lashings of gravy on everything, and a respectful sampling of each and every dessert on offer. And only two hours of badminton in the balance. But I like to believe that all those hours spent out on the lane to the cemetery, ungloved, with a palmful of peanuts, feeding chickadees and braving incipient frostbite, have some counter-calorific effect.

And so, as that classic British football ballad has it,

Here we go, here we go, here we go, here we go, here we go, here we go-o…
(rep. refr.)

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