“At the violet hour”

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,

Meeting 1.08.18

Not sure if the meeting of the research team this week was quite as exciting as this quote from “The Waste Land ” suggests!  We certainly are waiting…for the final cut!

However, the following quote seems to have a flavour of the City of Coventry, not in the mountains of course, Ball Hill being the biggest geographical bump!  However, Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air, has some significance and immediately calls to mind the John Piper image of the Coventry Cathedral ruins, which is part of the exhibition in the Herbert.

What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air

Piper, John, 1903-1992; Interior of Coventry Cathedral, 15 November 1940
John Piper (British, 1903-1992) Coventry Cathedral on the morning after the Blitz, 1940 Oil on canvas

And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

Coming to the end of our meeting…

At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.

Lilac paper

Looking for themes and links to the branding and visual presentation of the Journeys with “The Waste Land” exhibition, it was decided to invite “comments” from our visitors on a typewriter and the tinted paper that has arrived is modelled by Celia, one of the research team.  Coincidence it matched Celia’s sartorial choice today!  More lilac or pink than violet, but still relevant!

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Even if we go with hyacinth it works!

“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth girl.”
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed’ und leer das Meer.

It feels as though we are nearly at the violet hour just tying up loose ends and planning the launch party of course!

 

One thought on ““At the violet hour”

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