Thursday, 9 October 2008

Blog Policy

I'm lazy. I have only set up this account in order to follow other people's blogs and gossip on them.

N.B. If you have clicked on my name via a comment I have made elsewhere, then you might enjoy looking at some of the other blogs that I follow. (When I have worked out how to get them to show up).

I will also be putting up links of interest. (When I have worked out how to do that as well).



[Hmm, this part of the page looks dreadfully blank – I think I shall fill it with my favourite poem for the benefit of those who find themselves here].

Occasionally, when I read something old, I get the sense of hearing a voice carrying down through the years. This gives me both a sense of continuity and a feeling of connection with those who lived centuries before my birth. This poem is from the eighth century, penned by an anonymous student at the monastery of Carinthia. It was apparently found written on the back of a copy of St. Paul’s Epistles.

When choosing to listen to a voice from long ago I would much prefer to hear from a clever but gentle type who simply loved his moggy than... that other guy.

Maybe you don’t agree, but even so, I hope you like the poem.

Pangur Bán

I and Pangur Bán, my cat,
‘Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his simple skill.

‘Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.

Translated from the Gaelic by Robin Flower

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