It is a false economy to burn your house down out of a desire to inconvenience your mother-in-law.
I May, I Might, I Must
If you tell me why the fen
appears impassable, I then
will tell you why I think that I
can get across it if I try.
Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.
By a free country, I mean a country where people are allowed, so long as they do not hurt their neighbours, to do as they like. I do not mean a country where six men may make five men do exactly as they like.
Intercalate obligatory platitudinous plagiarism here.
I Am Not Yours
I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love — put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.
Old Cary Grant fine, how you?
In reply to a telegram to his agent asking “How old Cary Grant?”
Between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is worn out.
What Youth deemed crystal, Age finds out was dew.
When Socrates spoke, the people said how inspiring, but when Demosthenes spoke, the people said let us march.
Hilbert […] was perhaps the most absent-minded man who ever lived. He was a great friend of the physicist James Franck. One day when Hilbert was walking in the street he met James Franck and he said, “James, is your wife as mean as mine?” Well, Franck was taken aback by this statement and didn’t know quite what to say, and he said, “Well, what has your wife done?” And Hilbert said, “It was only this morning that I discovered quite by accident that my wife does not give me an egg for breakfast. Heaven knows how long this has been going on.”
Sir, I have been commissioned by Michael Joseph to write an autobiography and I would be grateful to any of your readers who could tell me what I was doing between 1960 to 1974
A letter from Jeffrey Bernard in the New Statesman 18 July 1975
the long smouldering
afternoon. It is
when the ball scoots
of the edge
of the bat; upwards,
yet he reaches
and picks it
of its loop
from a branch,
the first of the season.
Speak the truth, think of others, don’t dawdle.
my 1,000th post
The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood.
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light.
Math Is Beautiful and So Are You
If n is an even number
then I’ll kiss you goodnight right here,
but if the modulus k is the unique solution,
I’ll take you in my arms for the long night.
When the properties are constrained as well as incomplete,
I’ll be getting off the train at this stop.
However, if there is some positive constant,
then I’ll stay on board for a while longer.
When it says that the supremum deviates from the least zero,
my heart closes off.
But if all moments are infinite and you can hear me,
I will open out for you.
This sequence satisfies the hypothesis of uniformity,
and because we know that approximation is possible
and that inequality is an embedding factor,
come, let’s try once more.
He who fears an isolated Queen’s Pawn should give up Chess.
You can pretend to be serious; you can’t pretend to be witty.
This is my dream,
It is my own dream,
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.
If in the last few years you haven’t discarded a major opinion or aquired a new one, check your pulse. You may be dead.
Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must first be overcome.
On first looking into Chapman’s Homer
Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific – and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise-
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
Don’t be so humble – you are not that great.
As flash as a rat with a gold tooth.
I worry about you –
So long since we spoke.
Love, are you downhearted,
I worry about you.
I can’t sleep at night.
Are you sad? Are you lonely?
Or are you all right?
They say that men suffer,
As badly, as long.
I worry, I worry,
In case they are wrong.
Nothing you can’t spell will ever work.