Notes by Tale
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{ 127 } PREFACE The river Stour runs through the valley: some local people pronounce it stower, others stir. In 1705, an act of Parliament recorded it as the river Stower. Screenwriter Jenny Harpur has called Seamus Heaney a “wholesome magician”; see the superb RTÉ documentary Out of the Marvellous (2009), directed by Charlie McCarthy. I am grateful to Ken Worpole for discovering and recommending D. W. Gillingham’s remarkable Unto the Fields (1953). Paul Ellis talked of picking up a cold pebble and carrying it until warm. JANUARY 1. See Ronald Blythe’s The Time by the Sea (2013). John Masefield’s quote is from the poem “Sea Fever” (in Spunyarn, 2011). Throughout this book, all temperatures are in degrees Celsius (o C) rather than Fahrenheit. 2. See Arthur Patterson’s Wildfowlers and Poachers (1929), Robert Finch’s Outlands (1986), Ambrose Waller’s The Suffolk Stour (1959). In his Out of Essex (2013), James Canton discusses Sabine Baring-Gould, rector of Mersea; his famed book is Mehalah (1880). The shield duck is the old name for the piebald shellduck. Finch’s Outlands is also an east country, journeys in the outer edges of Cape Cod. Historian John Norden’s travelled through Essex in 1594; the quote is from Ronald Blythe’s In Praise of Essex (1998). 3. At the time of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, December 2015, atmospheric carbon was increasing at about two parts per million per year. Voluntary pledges of cuts in emissions were agreed, seeking to keep the temperature rise below 2o C above the preindustrial level, and aiming for 1.5o C. 4. The reference in the title is to Richard Long’s ambulatory art, Walking the Line (2000). William Dutt describes the exit of the Ore in Suffolk (1909). There is a herd of Suffolk Punch horses at Hollesley Bay Prison (see J. Pretty, This Luminous Coast, 2011). The Johnny Cash lines are from his “I Walk the Line.” 5. Seamus Heaney’s comment is from the RTÉ documentary Out of the Marvellous (2009). 6. For an account of the Battle of Mealdune (Maldon), both the original and translated, see R.  North, J. Allard, and J. Gillies, Longman Anthology of Old English, Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman Literature (2011). After two hundred years of Viking raids and minor ruling, Cnut (or Canute) was the first to rule the whole of England. Popular lore says he was a fool to command the waves to retreat; accounts at the time indicate he set up the event to show his courtiers the value of humility: even a king could not command nature to do his bidding. The winner of the Danegeld from the Battle of Mealdune, Olaf, then brought Christianity to the Norse as king, NOTES BY TALE { 128 }     Notes by Tale was made a saint, and now a pilgrimage way of 640 kilometers leads to his grave at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway. FEBRUARY 7. The phrase “blue remembered hills” is from A. E. Housman’s 1896 poem, and later a Dennis Potter play. The Naitō Jōshō haiku is in J. Clements, Zen Haiku (2000). 8. The Matsuo Bashō haiku is in J. Clements, Zen Haiku (2000). It is also translated by June Reichhold (Bashō: The Complete Haiku, 2008) as: summer grass the only remains of soldiers’ dreams. See also in M. Bashō, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (1968): a thicket of grass Is all that remains Of dreams and ambitions Of ancient warriors. 10. The comment on skylark song is in Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey’s Birds Britannica (2005). The Stour River is fed from the north by the underground Ely-Ouse water transfer, thus bringing water from Norfolk and the Fens to dry south Essex. 11. Philip Connors’s book about fire lookouts is Fire Season (2011). The Open Road bookshop is run by Dave Charleston and can be found in Stoke-by-Nayland: https://theopenroadbookshop. wordpress.com/. MARCH 12. The quote from Lama Anagarika Govinda is in The Way of the White Cloud (1966). 13. See Patrick Wright’s The River (1999) for an account of the whole Thames River. For more on clever corvids, see J. Marzluff and T. Angell’s Gift of the Crow (2012). 14. John Constable’s altar painting in Nayland church is Christ Blessing the Bread and Wine of the Last Supper, commissioned in 1809 by the artist’s aunt. 15. See Richard Mabey’s Flora Britannica (1996) for more on...


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