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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

BOOKS: Knox Brothers

The Knox Brothers by Penelope Fitzgerald is a brilliant biography of her father and three brothers, evocative of what is most admirable - his cleverness, integrity, zest for life and all that religion represents – the calm and the turmoil.

A motif throughout the book is this poem, deemed to be ‘an extract and faithful translation… the rendering by William Johnson Cory, of a Greek epigram’
   “They told me, Herachitus, they told me
                                                you were dead, 
            They brought me bitter news to hear,
            Bitter tears to shed.
            I wept when I remembered now,
            Often you and I
            Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.
            And now that thou art lying,
            My dear Ol’ Carian guest,
            A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest
            Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales awake
            For death he taketh all away

           But then he cannot take."

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