Sunday, 5 July 2015

Moth Bling

In the week a show of Joseph Cornell's little boxes opens at the Royal Academy, I thought this piece by Simon Armitage, the new Professor of Poetry at Oxford, was rather appropriate, and an interesting read.

I really like his idea of poems as little stage-sets; if it's a commonplace idea, it's certainly not one I've come across before.  Similarly, the suggestion that, as a teaching practice, withholding a poem's title and then revealing it can be like providing the "negative terminal ... which when supplied allows a sudden emotional charge to arc across the gap" is nicely put, and applies equally well to visual works.  Armitage has a remarkably ego-free and unacademic gift for sharing the inwardness of his engagement with the work of other poets.  Not sure whether this bodes well for his period of tenure at that least ego-free and most academic of institutions, but it will be their loss if it isn't a success.  And, no, this time I didn't vote for anyone.

Talking of little boxes, these are a couple of box-type things I knocked together this week.  Perhaps I should take them along for those over-dressed vulgarians on the Antiques Roadshow to consider.  Apparently Bling & Sons are very collectable, especially their entomological range.  You say they're worth how much?  Gasp!  Suppressed leer of avarice!  No, they're not insured.


Martyn Cornell said...

I've always wanted (for obvious reasons) to make a Cornell box myself. Not that Joe was a *real* Cornell (hem) – his family were Dutch, rather than East Anglian, and the surname Anglicised from something like Cornelius.

Mike C. said...


The RA show is getting good reviews. I've never actually seen any of the boxes, only illustrations, so must try to get up to see it before it finishes.