Author Archives: Elizabeth

The Darkest Day

It’s the winter solstice, and, apparently, the darkest in five hundred years, and frankly, it feels appropriate. On a public level, I don’t remember a time so full of anger, resentment, prejudice, greed and callous indifference to the suffering of others. There was Brexit, the shambles of politics in the US, terrorist atrocities, the horror… Read More »

Speaking Beings

I’ve been to see Paterson, and I am frustrated, intrigued, and in the end fairly outraged by it. You may have seen it – or plan to see it, but in case you didn’t, the blurb reads: A hardworking bus driver (Adam Driver) in Paterson, N.J., writes heartfelt poems every day before his shift begins.… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs (4) Nettle

Nettle this is called * powerful against sickness. It drives out pain * it is powerful against sickness. This is the herb * that fought with the serpent, It has might against poison, * might against infection, might against the evil one * who wanders the land. No controversy about this one – everyone agrees… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs (3) Houseleek

This is probably not what you were expecting, if you know the charm. The usual translation is ‘lambs cress’, or hairy bittercress – cardamine hirsuta. I’ve even seen watercress. There are other candidates too, which we’ll discuss, but this is the one I’ve settled on. First, the translation: This plant is called ‘thunder’ * it… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs – (1) Mugwort

I was hoping the Old English Lacnunga would translate into a good poem for Haggards, but it really doesn’t. I might write my own Charm of Nine Herbs at some point, but while I was working at the original, I have done some research that might be interesting. The link I’ve given is to a… Read More »