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Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: LindaD (91.108.30.---)
Date: April 11, 2008 11:41AM

Would that I had 300,000
Invested in some strong security;
A Midland Country House with formal grounds,
A Town House, and a House beside the sea,
And one in Spain, and one in Normandy,
And Friends innumerable at my call
And youth serene and underneath it all
One steadfast, passionate flame to nurture me.

Then would I chuck for good my stinking trade
Of writing tosh at 1s. 6d. a quire!
And soar like young Bellerophon arrayed
High to the filmy Heavens of my desire ....
But that's all over. Here's the world again.
Bring me the Blotter. Fill the fountain-pen.

So I read that with no problems of rhyme or scansion, and then it struck me. I'm of a nationality and age to know how the first and tenth lines should be read, but do younger people and not-British people have to stop and think about it.

Also puzzling. I googled for the text to save having to type it out and found it given as Sonnet 34 though my copy of the Collected Verse, Penguin, 1958, has it as Sonnet XXIX.


Re: Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (68.194.80.---)
Date: April 11, 2008 12:23PM

If I had 30 million P
Invested in security;
to bakeries I'd make the rounds
and then I'd weigh 500


Re: Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: LindaD (91.108.30.---)
Date: April 11, 2008 12:29PM

So, no trouble with the first line. What about "Of writing tosh at 1s. 6d. a quire!"


Re: Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (68.194.80.---)
Date: April 11, 2008 01:01PM

I seem to recall it was said as "One and Six"?


Re: Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: LindaD (91.108.30.---)
Date: April 11, 2008 02:05PM

It was indeed.


Re: Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (68.194.80.---)
Date: April 11, 2008 03:16PM

I am not-british but i am also not-young


Re: Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: marian222 (81.151.104.---)
Date: April 12, 2008 06:03AM

That's a new one to me - the Belloc - it's lovely. I suppose I've reached an age where things I understand perfectly (like 1/6) will be the subject of footnotes in poetry books. I shall choose to feel knowledgeable rather than old!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2008 06:09AM by marian222.


Re: Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: hpesoj (69.116.247.---)
Date: April 19, 2008 11:01AM

I know how to pronounce the first and tenth lines, but not how to pronounce the author's first name. I've heard it pronounced "Hill-air," "Hillary," and "Hill-airy." Do any of you know the correct pronunciation?


Re: Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (24.189.158.---)
Date: April 19, 2008 12:21PM

It's spelt Raymond Luxury-Yacht, but it's pronounced Throat-Warbler Mangrove


Re: Reading a sonnet by Hilaire Belloc.
Posted by: LindaD (91.110.190.---)
Date: April 22, 2008 02:14PM

I've only ever heard it as "Hill-air" After all, he was born French.




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