‘I cast the net of memory…’
from The Net of Memory in Last Poems, by Laurence Hope,
In October Flightpathproject will wing its way to India, staying until December.
It will trace the trajectory of poet Laurence Hope — aka Adela Florence Cory, aka Violet Nicolson – who died in what was then Madras, in 1904. Her exotic, erotic poems set hearts fluttering in drawing rooms across Victorian England.
At the same time it will follow the footsteps of John Jealous, who died in England in 2006. His letters and notes from trips to India reveal a growing obsession with her.
Image in Under a Lilac-Bleeding Star by Lesley Blanch, Atheneum 1964 (note LH’s name, misspelled)
Mirroring the movements of LH and JJ, Flightpathproject will arrive in north India as high-altitude birds migrate to the foothills of the Himalayas. Writing on the way, Flightpathproject will move to south India at the same time that migratory birds escaping the European winter flock to sanctuaries like Vedanthangal.
Image at http://www.tripadvisor.com
Was it worth while to forego our wings
To gain these dextrous hands?
Truly they fashion us wonderful things
As the fancy of man demands.
But – to fly! to sail through the lucid air
From crest to violet crest
Of these great grey mountains, quartz-veined and bare,
Where the white clouds gather and rest.
Even to flutter from flower to flower, –
To skim the tops of the trees, –
In the roseate light of a sun-setting hour
To drift on a sea-going breeze.
Ay, the hands have marvellous skill
To create us curious things, –
Baubles, playthings, weapons to kill, –
But – I would we had chosen wings!
from Last Poems by Laurence Hope