The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Brian has a thing about trees. Can’t stop looking at them. I’ve been abroad with him when he’s been in rapture over an avenue of pine tress. ‘Look at them, Bill,’ he’d say. ‘Aren’t they beautiful! People don’t appreciate beauty these days. They look at everything but they don’t really see. Who really looks at trees and sees their shapes and colours? They’re magic! That’s what it’s all about! - Bill Clough talking about his brother, Brian.
Ah now, this is the stuff - a blog dedicated to biographies of great British trees. Little more needs to be said. Go see.
Mountain*7 - for the person with nothing better to do
Entries tagged as trees
Yes, we have been a little quiet of late. A combination of summer lassitude, eye-ache from sleep deprivation and the density of all the cricket that's around at the moment: it gets in under the door... Normal business should return once we've adjusted ourselves. We have another 6 weeks of it so we'd better adjust fast.
Speechification have been a little quiet themselves recently, but over the last couple of weeks there has been a whole host of great stuff posted. Follow the links below.
The Percy Edwards Showdown is almost too twee to contemplate yet somehow listening to a man imitate a jay and have Bill Oddie and Mark Cocker trying to guess if it's real or artificial is a thing to behold. Plus David Attenborough chairing. (MP3)
A whole series of Night Walks - from John Walsh in London to Nicholas Shakespeare in Tasmania.
Ever since being mesmerised by Richard Preston's The Wild Trees, a book that manages to make Californian Redwood's alluring and terrifying, I've been wanting to climb trees. This brilliant programme follows the exploits of James Aldred as he climbs one of Britain's biggest Redwoods - Goliath. (MP3) Some photos here too.
A London Ear special on Will Oldham. (MP3) Yes, of course it's brilliant.
Two cracking programmes on Borges - one featuring his old reader and all round polymath Alberto Manguel (MP3), and another that follows Peter White on a trip to Argentina to view a project that is making Borges work available in Braille (MP3).
Lastly, not listened to these myself, but two programmes on Larkin: both featuring Paul Farley who traces Larkin's journey during The Whitsun Weddings (MP3) and then discovers a box of tapes of Larkin reading his own poetry (MP3).
You can also follow Speechification on Twitter, and yes me if you want to.
On re-reading this on a recent trip over to Ypres and Passchendale, aside from the awe at the naked descriptions of horror and carnage, what I was most astounded by was Remarque's, at times, near-schizophrenic appreciation of nature. It's clear that in his hyper-sensitive state Remarque/Bäumer was able to observe minute changes in the world around him - in both tone and atmosphere - as if the usual aspects of time and space had come unmoored. The passage below is from the section of the book in which Bäumer is guarding Russian prisoners a few miles behind the front line.
Most beautiful are the woods with the line of birch trees. Their colour changes with every minute. Now the stems gleam purest white, and between them airy and silken, hangs the pastel green of the leaves; the next moment all changes to an opalescent blue, as the shivering breezes pass down from the heights and touch the green lightly away; and again in one place it deepens almost to black as a cloud passes over the sun. And this shadow moves like a ghost through the dim trunks and rides far out over the moor to the sky - then the birches stand out again like gay banners on white poles, with their red and gold patches of autumn-tinted leaves.