Wagner’s Parsifal

(The Music of Redemption) by Roger Scruton (2020) Some Brief Words From the Wise on Holy Communion “…it belongs to that class of myths which have been dramatised in ritual, or, to put it otherwise, which have been performed as magical ceremonies for the sake of producing those natural effects which they describe in figurative language. A myth is never so graphic and precise in its details as when it is, so to speak, the book of the words which are spoken and acted by the performers of the sacred rite.”* “It would indeed be impossible to devise a mystery…

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Consolations of Confinement

October 9, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Poetry |

(In the Plague Year 2020) We lingered palely, house-bound, deadly tired, Blue flames from tripods hectored, then expired, The sickness hot, the master quit for fear, His office, and he left no staffer there. In the rooms the plague-scare came and went, Breathless about the window and the vent, Pressing talk of destruction and pandemic And the pressing need to ‘not to panic’. From wise mouths we’d heard so much about: Pedantry and oppression, shrill calling-out Of the heterodox. We strove to find the silver lining, The voice of the Swedish-Doom-Goblin, declining. Planetary plague, hung o’er a high-viced city, Poison in…

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Solid Gold

The Glenelg Football Club 2019 Premiership Yearbook (By Peter Cornwall, Andrew Capel & Zac Milbank) (2020) We have banged-on far too much about the Glenelg Tigers’ brilliant championship season of 2019 – you can read all about it here. So let someone else do it, only better: “Solid Gold” by experienced professional sportswriters Cornwall, Capel and Milbank, is a great keepsake for fans as well as a comprehensive record of a thrilling season. Beautifully designed in burnished gold and jet black, shaped like an EP vinyl record cover, it is especially evocative in this plague year. For once, the advertising…

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The Art of Plague by cOvid

May 19, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Poetry |

Arnold Böcklin, "Plague," (1898)

cOvid wants attention; cOvid just wants love. He went AWOL, attached himself As a hand into a glove; Banished by his Masters, Self-distanced, not alone, Conceived on the wing – loitering, At the window’s secure zone. Bat-munching barbarians Will take official blame; When Dr Who comes calling, Suspects all look the same. Wash the razor with a hose, Sluice the wastage down the drain; Fresh mops and a butcher’s pail Will carry away the stain. Nothing to do with us; We smile, and calculate: The number the next beast into The crock pot shall decimate.

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A Bigger Picture

By Malcolm Turnbull (2020) To re-tell a recent joke, with apologies to Frankie Boyle, Turnbull’s memoir is not like Turnbull the man, in 2 respects: it has a spine, and you may not want to put it down. Yes, we’re on record as not being Malcolm fans, for whom this pretty well written and interesting book is designed, though it holds wider interest in following the August path of destiny for Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, a path strewn with garlands and fleeting triumphs, told in a voice of peerless self-confidence, well described by Jonathon Green in the Sydney Morning Herald…

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