|L. Leslie Brooke, early 20th century|
They sailed away in a Sieve, they did,In a Sieve they sailed so fast,With only a beautiful pea-green veilTied with a riband by way of a sail,To a small tobacco-pipe mast;And every one said, who saw them go,‘O won’t they be soon upset, you know!For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long,And happen what may, it’s extremely wrongIn a Sieve to sail so fast!’Far and few, far and few,Are the lands where the Jumblies live;Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,And they went to sea in a Sieve.
I have been thinking hard, over the past few months. Probably harder than I have thought since I was a young man. I have been changing my mind about many things – always uncomfortable and distressing – and I have come to conclusions that I don't think much of anyone will like. This leaves me curiously faceless and inarticulate. I don't want no fight, and I haven't got a lot of time.
Having a public face, and being liked for it, has gradually wriggled from the luxury category to the necessity category. It's time, I guess, to try to trap it and put it back. I don't need to be a public person: it actually has many more discomforts than comforts. I am ready to drift back into the radar grass.
I will write, of course. I will always write. But I am going to have to be elliptical, to talk around things, or through them. Poetry will come in handy for that. As soon as you introduce line-breaks, most people stop reading, and those who do keep reading assume that you don't really mean it.