There are two lines in the Florence + the Machine song, “Dog Days Are Over”, that for me is a particular hook in the first part before the chorus,
“With every bubble, she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink.”
That particular lyric blows me away every time. It’s beautifully poignant, and speaks a wonderful poetry. It’s also unexpected: bubbles and sinking are not associations one normally thinks; if nothing else, bubbles, like those in champagne, lift. Juxtaposition at its finest.
(My other favourite song from Lungs is “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”, in particular the lyrics: “And in the spring I shed my skin/And it blows away with the changing wind”.)
One day while playing “Dog Days Are Over” on loop, I Googled “Florence Welch poetry” and discovered a BBC radio series called Rhyme and Reason with Florence reading poetry and discussing it. It was also, thankfully, uploaded by someone on to YouTube and that was how I was able to listen to it. (Unfortunately, it seems the BBC website for Rhyme and Reason does not exist anymore.)
Videos are embedded after the jump.
Last year I chanced upon a BBC documentary called Wogan on Wodehouse. Broadcast in 2011, Terry Wogan pieces together P.G. Wodehouse’s life and its parallels in his writings, often brilliantly inspired. Unlike some documentaries that try to uncover supposed hidden truths or darker aspects in an author’s works through their life, the parallels only further illuminate Wodehouse’s brilliance as a wordsmith and his ability in seeing the humour in life.
I believe I was between the ages of thirteen and fourteen when I read my first Wodehouse book, Carry On, Jeeves. Since then, I’ve read more of his books and enjoy them as much as I did upon first reading them, if not more so. After reading any of his stories, I always come away with a feeling that I can only describe as rich and uplifted. How he uses language is invigorating.
Most of the enjoyment that one gets out of reading his writing is his use of simile, alliteration, and witty, sometimes irreverent, allusions and references to Shakespeare and classical studies, usually the Romantic poets, and the Bible. All of which are handled deftly. His writing is such that he is one of those very few writers in which one derives more enjoyment by reading it himself than hearing it read out loud or narrated, as when listening to an audiobook.