Tag Archives: TS Eliot

E-TS Eliot’s Reply.

As you may recall, yesterday I forwarded TS Eliot a letter which I’d found. Signed by the “Pollicle Dogs” their poem expressed vehement opposition  to his compilation of Cat poems, which ultimately led to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s blockbuster musical, Cats. Cats the Musical has really pained them and they’re now clamouring for: Dogs The Musical…all in the name of equality, of course.

Anyway, this morning there was a knock at the door and the dogs barked twice and as much as usual and I found this letter, which they seemingly mistook for a cat. After all, it’s not surprising  that a note from TS Elliot would smell of cats, is it?!!

So, without further ado, I thought I’d share his letter with you before I head off.

Rowena,

So much for the “Polittle Dogs”! They’ve left a present on my door step and I strongly object to such tactics.

This is WAR!

Please come at once and bring your trowel!

Tom

….

Oh dear! I’ve told my dogs before that there are ways of means of making complaints to management and that’s not one of them. It also sounds like there could well be a hole under the fence I have to deal with.

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The Troublemakers!

If those dogs are looking for supporters, they’re certainly going about this the wrong way. After all, that’s not how you win friends and influence people!

By the way, in case you’re wondering what “Pollicle dogs means, Peter Ackroyd – T. S. Eliot: A Life, New York, NY, Simon & Schuster, 1984 explains:

“Eliot heard this word [Jellicle] from his young niece, who sounded as if she were saying “Jellicle cat” whenever she called for her ‘dear little cat’ (“Dea-lickle Cat”) and “Pollicle dog” whenever she called for her ‘poor little puppy’ (“Po’-lickle Dog”).”

By the way, if you missed my letter to TS Eliot and the poem by the dogs, here’s the link.

So, I hope you are having a wonderful day. The weather here is see-sawing between Summer and Winter and I guess that’s what makes it Autumn.

Best wishes,

Rowena

E-TS Eliot: Letters to Dead Poets #atozchallenge

 

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
TS Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Dear Mr Elliot,

Welcome back to the land of the living, although I thought you might have had enough. Would rather be left alone, far away from this land of shadows.

However, while I was pondering all of this, I found a letter on the floor. No signature, only paw prints. Being quite the champion of the underdog, especially in its age old battle against the supercilious cat, I decided to act as messenger and forward you this poem from a group calling themselves: “The Pollicle Dogs”.

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Although they could well be a terrorist cell for radicalized canines, I thought they had a point. You made no secret of your love of cats and just to confirm what seems to be a definite bias in the battle between cats and dogs,  there’s definitely no Old Possum’s Book of Practical Dogs to inspire Dogs The Musical, is there?

Not that I’m judging you in any way. It’s just about equality and fairness. That’s all.

To TS Eliot: A Note from The Pollicle Dogs

 In defense of the dog,

we now appear.

A lover of cats,

you hold them too dear!

These killers of birds.

The most stuck up of beasts!

Friends when it suits them

but never for keeps.

Your poems are an outrage,

we tried to have banned.

But then came the musical

that should’ve been canned.

Cats! Cats! Cats! Cats!

All we hear is just cats.

Dogs…pollicle dogs!

Why don’t you write about

 US?!!

Signed,

The Pollicle Dogs.

While evidence strongly suggests that my dogs, Bilbo and Lady, penned this poem, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of their comrades down at Dog Beach were also involved.

dogs

My Dogs…Bilbo and Lady.

You see, I’ve never ever seen a cat down at the beach, which would seem to suggest some kind of demarcation or indeed, the existence of a secret dog society, which could very well be plotting the demise of the cat.

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Dog Beach.

Personally, I’ve tried talking to my dogs about this before. That we all need to be kind to our enemies. Turn the other cheek. Even apply the Golden Rule. They found  that extremely challenging, not only when it came to being nice to cats, but also when it came to stealing the humans’ food from the table. They’ve actually become a pair of thieving scoundrels of late and have been in endless TROUBLE!!

Indeed, I think they’ve related to those famous last lines of Hollow Men, as they’ve been dispatched hastily “OUTSIDE”:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

I must admit that these lines keep returning to me throughout my life. Funny that because so many times, it’s seemed like the end of the world and those lines have been going through my head, when I somehow manage to live right through the moment and life just goes on without any after thought, acknowledgement or recognition. There’s only that inner relief of knowing that I’d made it. That I’d survived another close call, even if that was only my perception.

Like so many who have read your work, I can’t help but wonder at the contrast between your earlier poems and your more comical cat poems. However, through my own experiences of adversity and an understanding of the dark side or shadow, I also appreciate it’s flips side, which is often expressed through a macabre or dark form of humour. Indeed, my husband and I, who are both avid amateur photographers, have observed “the darker the shadow, the brighter the light.” Humour is incredibly therapeutic!

Well, it’s almost time for my kids to arrive home from school. While Mum’s taxi won’t be driving round and round the cactus bush, it certainly seems to be doing more than its fair share of circles round our neighbourhood, especially in the afternoons.

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Speaking off which, it’s time for me to head off to the station to pick up my daughter and give a wave to Skimbleshanks. Somehow, he has absconded to the Antipodes.

Yours sincerely,

Rowena

 

 

The End Of An Era…

“This is the way the world ends.

Not with a bang, but a whimper.”

-T.S. Eliot

Today, both of my children left the school we have called home for the last seven years. This has been a very emotional time for me as well as I’ve been quite involved at the school and have done the publicity for 6 years. However, I’ve not only written press releases, I’ve also been the school photographer. I haven’t simply photographed the kids like some fly on the wall from a distance. I usually talk to them. Encourage them to smile and come out of themselves so I’m definitely no stranger up there myself. I’ll really miss the kids and truly appreciate what an honour it’s been to get to know them in this much more personal way.

Next year, our son starts high school, so he’s definitely reached a point of no return. He is out of the nest and will soon be grappling with his new, much expanded universe. Our daughter, on the other hand, still has two more years of primary school to go but has been accepted into a selective primary school. Her new school is a 45 minutes drive away or an hour train and bus ride. This may prove too much but we’ll see how it goes.

While our daughter left the school quietly , exiting stage left largely unnoticed, Year Six left with more than the usual bang.

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Kindergarten children hold hands forming the arch for the tunnel.

 

 

It’s a school tradition for all the kids to form a tunnel or guard of honour  and the Year 6s move through. As Mister explained, this can be quite tricky because the Kindergarten kids are half their height. So, he found himself ducking, weaving and crawling through,  which I’m sure just added to the fun. There were many tears as the kids went through and I’m surprised I didn’t cry myself but filming and photographing the action probably distracted me. Besides, I still don’t think it’s sunk in that we’ve left. That a whole new road has opened up. Make that two roads.

As luck would have it, a severe storm hit Sydney yesterday. In what was a very Jane Austen moment, not long before the tunnel was due, the heavens opened up. Rain bucketed down. Lightening flashed. Thunder, which had been rumbling most of the day, suddenly cracked with a vengeance. Although this sounds bad enough, we’d actually been spared the worst. Parts of Southern Sydney were hit by a tornado rated as an F2 (strong for Australia).

So, rather than leaving school with a whimper, Year 6 of 2015 went out with a bang…and a flash!

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To be perfectly honest, I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like next year when the three of us won’t be heading off to school together. If my car was a horse, I wouldn’t even need to steer. The car well and truly knows the way and it wouldn’t surprise me if we somehow end up there by accident on the first day next year: “We’re back!”

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Last night, we had the “Year 6 Farewell”, which was the grand finale for year. The theme was 1970s hippie/surfie. Each student designed their own record cover, and there were some fabulous designs there…loads of rainbow-coloured texta. There was also a vinyl record for each child with their photo from Kindergarten (their first year at school) on one side and Year 6 on the other side. These were hung with fishing line from the roof of the hall and looked very impressive en masse. One of the parents made a Kombi photo booth, which looked fantastic. Parents were allowed in to take photos at the start and were shooed out for most of it and return for the final proceedings. A video has appeared of the teachers doing the Nutbush on the school’s Facebook page. They’re a great bunch of dancers.

 

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Mister on Record.

 

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Mister and Geoff at the Farewell.

As hard as it is to leave the school, change is a part of life and we all know what happens to still water. It stagnates. We have to keep moving.

Quite often we have no idea where we’re heading and are just fumbling around in the dark. Most of the time, things eventually become clear.

So, as much as I’d like to stay put and keep keeping on, we’re off.

We are done! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc3LGzNEkL0

By the way, thought you might be interested in a poem I wrote about when Mister started school: The Acorn https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-acorn/

Will you or your family be experiencing any fresh starts in the New Year? Please share!

xx Rowena

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Repercussions of Being a Cat Loving Dog

Eisenhower was no doubt trying to be encouraging when he said: “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Unfortunately, you’ll need a microscope to find the fight in this dog right now. Indeed, I suspect that I’ve swallowed a chicken in my sleep.

Please excuse my less than positive outlook. I know I’m not exactly upbeat at the best of times and have more of a realist’s world view. However, my current state is low even by my fairly unambitious standards.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon's message still rings true: Give Peace A Chance. The trouble is how to maintain the peace when there is still so much evil in this world.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s message still rings true: Give Peace A Chance. The trouble is how to maintain the peace when there is still so much evil in this world. Not so easy…

Since I last wrote, I’ve been forced into hiding in the deepest depths of my canine laboratory since launching my twitter campaign: # cats and dogs are friends. Rather than building bridges between two age-old foes and turning hate into love, my efforts have backfired and focused the hatred of both species onto their new found common foe… me!

“And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am”

Goo Goo Dolls: Isis

Now, I am a wanted dog and as you could appreciate, it’s sadly for all the wrong reasons. My situation, as it stands, is therefore rather dire.

Hence, this could very well be my very last post.

If only this placard could be true.

If only this placard could be true.

You see, after advocating that dogs and cats should become friends and flying a flag saying: “I love cats” from the roof of my kennel, I’ve attracted hoards of haters…the very thing I spoke out against a few posts back.

Sadly, that often happens when you try to change the world and fiddle with the status quo.

Still a long way off.

Still a long way off.

So, I guess this means I won’t be collecting my Nobel Peace Prize any time soon.

All the dogs think I’m a traitor. That I’ve sold out and joined the enemy. Although I didn’t quite go as far as saying: “Je suis chat”, it seems that by trying to love cats and be their friend, I have crossed an invisible line. I’ve seemingly betrayed the very essence of being a dog. Apparently, hating cats is as much part of being a dog as barking, chewing bones and chasing balls.

Hence, dogs are quite literally trying to kill me. Indeed, a campaign of pure hate is spreading like wildfire on Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere: #Hate Bilbo, #Bilbo is not a dog… and it gets worse.

Not so long ago, I was living the very uneventful life of a garden-variety backyard dog. Yes, I admit I was also dabbling in dog philosophy and this has somehow become a crusade. It is this crusade which has got be into my current predicament.

Despite these sinister threats, I’m not about to hate. That goes against everything I believe and everything I stand for and certainly is the very antithesis of the Golden Rule. I can’t even kill my own fleas. The family always takes care of that. I am a peace-loving dog whose only crime was to try to change the world for the common good. Now, I’m a dog staring into the headlights of a truck called “Red Rover”. That is, an in “it’s all over red rover”.

It would appear that you only try to change such entrenched age-old values at your peril. So much for appreciating a bit of vision!!

Such is the fate of a lone dog trying to overcome age-old hatred to create a new world order.

However, just because the dogs all hate me, don’t think that I’ve somehow managed to win over the cat population. The cats hate me as well. Rather than seeing my efforts as some kind of bid for world peace, they’ve accused me of being a cold blooded killer, a wolf in sheep’s clothing and have dug up terrible stories about my past treatment of cats. These have been rapidly circulating throughout all forms of media. Like humans, cats simply can’t believe that old dogs can learn new tricks.

So while I’m trying to stay inspired and feel the love, I’ve retreated right into the very depths of my beloved laboratory and Lady, my canine companion, is putting her food thieving, road kill retrieving skills to good use. Thankfully, it turns out that she’s not just “decorative” after all. She’s also become a very loyal friend, standing by me when, as I’ve said, every other dog wants to kill me. We’re in this together for what could well be a very long haul.

Thank you very much for reading, liking or perhaps even following my posts and for trying to step beyond your comfort zone to explore what is truly possible when we all learn to love instead of hate.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

 TS Eliot; The Hollow Men.

xx Bilbo

PS: If you are interested in reading my research into the Golden Rule, my posts start here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/greetings-from-good-dog/

 

If you are interested in hearing from Lady, click here for some of her posts:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/my-dog-post-lady-at-palm-beach-sydney/

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/portrait-of-a-lady/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.

Hippolyte Taine
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_pet3.html#WbTjMwQhRvQBozEu.99