Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Join the Dots

Welcome to my parallel universe. This is the first blog I have ever created: I have lost my blog virginity, and it feels... terrifying.

Thankfully I found a dotty template, which helps to ease the transition, because I love dots. Love them, love them, love them. You know that scene in American Beauty where Angela is rolling around in scarlet rose petals? I'm like that with dots. Never done it literally of course, but there's something about polka dots that makes me swoon with nostalgia and longing and want to jump into them. Perhaps it's because I'm a child of the 70's, and those dots rekindle happy childhood memories - let's face it, polka dots were the best of a bad bunch, a safe bet among a sea of mustard and fern swirls and other hideous patterns; I still shudder when I think back to a particular tartan jumper in those colours. To be quite honest the dots in this template don't quite cut it: they bear a frightening resemblance to my childhood yellow and green. I'd rather have simple, straight-talking red or vintage blue dots, but I suppose you can't have everything.

While I'm on the subject of dots, there is a poem featuring them that I desperately want to track down. It might be by Ted Hughes. Or not. I've written to the British Library in the hope that someone clever will be able to identify it immediately, but I've heard nothing back; I can't think why. What I remember are the words:
But Mary...Mary had three dots
I've googled it, naturally, and it turns out Three Dots is a clothing brand originating in the "Wilds of California" (LA?), but my Mary's no fashionista. The power of the blog-o-sphere will be truly revealed to me if someone comes up with the identity of the elusive poem. Gah, who am I kidding? The power of the blog-o-sphere will be well and truly revealed to me if anybody reads this. Like Mary, I shall take comfort in my deep and meaningful dots...


  1. Hi Kelly,

    Welcome to blogland! :-) I'll look forward to following your posts.

    As for the `three dots' poem, it's worth contacting the Poetry Society. I'm sure they'll solve the mystery.

    Catch up with you soon.


  2. Hi Kelly,
    That poem - I do remember it. You're not going mad - it wasn't Adrian Mitchell was it? But also reminds me of something completely different- celia, celia celia ...shits! remember that one?
    Like the blog. Have to admit it's the first I've ever read so probably not the best to critique it.
    Have a dotty day
    Rachel x

  3. Ooh, another clue on my road to discovery. Thanks Rachel. I just wrote to the poetry society and Adrian Mitchell's agent. I hope they deign to write back. Today there was a great article in the Guardian about punctuation, and a little side note about ellipses. Apparently they are experiencing a revival online - too right. The power of dots is unmistakable! Stuart Jeffries wrote "I use them to seem cleverer. Ellipses confer gravitas on banal thoughts..."

  4. I forgot to add, of course I remember Celia shits! Mrs Jenner was a smart teacher, wasn't she - what an excellent way to inspire teenagers to read 18th century poetry! I found the poem on the web and enjoyed it all over again - especially the ridiculously overwrought agony of Cassinus. Here are a couple of prime bits (I think it's too long to paste the whole thing here):

    Oh Peter! Beauty's but a Varnish,
    Which Time and Accidents will tarnish:
    But, Cælia has contriv'd to blast
    Those Beauties that might ever last.
    Nor can Imagination guess,
    Nor Eloquence Divine express,
    How that ungrateful charming Maid,
    My purest Passion has betray'd.
    Think, Peter, how my Soul is rack'd.
    These Eyes, these Eyes beheld the Fact.
    Now, bend thine Ear; since out it must:
    But, when thou seest me laid in Dust,
    The Secret thou shalt ne'er impart;
    Not to the Nymph that keeps thy Heart;
    (How would her Virgin Soul bemoan
    A Crime to all her Sex unknown!)
    Nor whisper to the tattling Reeds,
    The blackest of all Female Deeds.
    Nor blab it on the lonely Rocks,
    Where Echo sits, and list'ning mocks.
    Nor let the Zephyr's 19 treach'rous Gale
    Through Cambridge waft the direful Tale.
    Nor to the chatt'ring feather'd Race,
    Discover Cælia's foul Disgrace.
    But, if you fail, my Spectre dread
    Attending nightly round your Bed;
    And yet, I dare confide in you;
    So, take my Secret, and adieu.

    Nor wonder how I lost my Wits;
    Oh! Cælia, Cælia Cælia sh——.

  5. I forgot to credit Jonathan Swift for the poem. It's called Cassinus and Peter. I found the poem here: