In "Blemish", Kit Wright quotes 19th-century visitors who came to Tintern Abbey with preoccupations rather different from Wordsworth:
"To them the mise en scene was not quite perfect, /For beggars buggered up the picturesque, / And the rhapsodising walkers/ Felt the peasants and their porkers / Were regrettably less gothic than grotesque."
"Blithely in a post-chaise / We'd go lilting on our way, / All sorrow and all guilt would be undone / And with a pretty woman / My companion for the day, / Felicity would light me like the sun!"
"You're much too much / And far too very-very / To ever be / In Webster's Dictionary."
"In the Adam Ward of West Hammersmith Hospital, / Hoping I hadn't contracted the pox, / With six Hell's Angels I sat in the waiting room, / Rowdy and nervous, our minds on our cocks."
"the white-robed cricketers / Had made their way down into the valley / To do their dance of stillness, / To do their courtly dance of almost stillness, / Dancing upon their graves before they died."
"Widely regarded / As Mynton Parish Church's / Most talented sideman / Of the post-war period, / Eric Arthur Upton / Has handed in his plate. / Sombre and scrotal now / Hangs his collection bag, / Dark in the Vestry / In abandoned state."
"The poisoned heart of this hotel, / So shrewd and dark and small, / I knew particularly well / For I co-wrote them all: / The crisis in the corridor, / The body on the store-room floor, / The outrage in the hall."
"I sing a saint of Portugal, / Her name is Saint Uncumber, / And heaven does not hold a more / Resourceful little number."Continue reading...