The Cheapside protocol

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David
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The Cheapside protocol

Post by David » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:37 pm

Does subject fumble with her sheets? She does.

And play with her finger ends? Yes, that too.

Does subject babble o' green fields? Certainly
there is burbling, if not babbling, difficult
to follow, with interpolations, as Hi! and
Come on then! Ending often with
That's right, isn't it? Which is always affirmed.

Does subject allude to the chimes at midnight? No,
this is an earlier stage, but having lived
a quiet life, she has rarely heard even
the Shipping Forecast at midnight.

And has any mention been made of Arthur's bosom?
We may all hope to rest in Arthur's bosom.

Joao
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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by Joao » Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:38 pm

Having googled half my way through this, David, I was under the impression the subject was Mistress Quickly (wasn't her Inn on Eastcheap, rather?), but the Shipping Forecast made me doubt it.

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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by 1lankest » Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:43 am

Yes, plenty of googling. Certainly this is about death, afterlife (Elysium?). And madness? Or is it.
Who is this mysterious subject? She must be historical, or allegorical? Is ‘she’ Cheapside itself, dying a slow death like all such urban communities?

Or is it too early on a Sunday morning? Yes, that too.

Enjoyed.

Luke

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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by Macavity » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:04 pm

Hi David,
This is a teasing one, referencing Shakespeare (though I started looking at a play by Middleton, which I now must read!) and the present day phrasing. Rejection leading to Arthur's Bosom is more than a consolation. The drinking life - Chimes at Midnight - as opposed to the quiet life. So the poem uses both modern/historical phrasing :roll: The juxtapositions are being used to interrogate the subject. Who is asking the questions? What are the subject's transgressions? Delusions? A period piece, but not quite :)

Pondering

Mac

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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by bjondon » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:14 pm

Hi David,
didn't feel a burning need to google any of this - perhaps guessing I'd be on a hiding to nothing or more willing to settle in my poetic bargaining than other more perspicacious customers.
I like it as a collision of languages poetic and medical, archaic and modern. Two parties discussing a third, perhaps even both of them doctors.
There's a hint of the happier side of Alzheimers and I'm reminded of someone somewhere mentioning with great enthusiasm his spell as a leader/instigator of poetry workshops with so-called dementia patients . . . how many of them lit up with memories, actual recitals of long forgotten poems and a response to the language of poetry which, according to their relatives and carers was unprecedented. Nowadays of course we don't do much memorisation, so woe on that!
Shakespeare? I'm getting a bit of Carroll with the burbling/babbling play. Arthur could either be Malory or Lowe.
The first voice is quite withdrawn, formal, a little mysterious (could even be an actual ancient written criteria for diagnosing madness). The second benign, mischievous. Enjoyed overhearing them both.
Jules

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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by Alexander71 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:06 pm

Falstaff being directly referenced in the theme of all 5 stanzas I take the protocol to be a diagnostic one for the harmless foolishness that characterises him. It has to be the original character apparently as the Orson Welles enactment is too late. The similarity to age related dementia is tucked in there without being made explicit, however the close observation suggests a sympathetic understanding in the protocol/narrator despite the whole being a bit cryptic. The satisfaction I get as a reader though is more that of solving a good crossword than that of an emotional insight.

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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by David » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:10 pm

Thanks all.

Was it Eastcheap, Joao? Thanks for that. I shall put that right in future. But yes, not actually Mistress Q in this case.

Just so as not to be too coy about the whole thing, it's an attempt to apply this scene in Henry V - a very affecting one - to a contemporary situation in the form of a clinical assessment, a questionnaire to be filled in. Whether it works or not, I leave to vox populi. (Clearly channelling Boris a bit here.)

Mac, I think I have never read any Middleton. But I really should read The Changeling, I suppose.

Cheers all

David

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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by Macavity » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:44 am

Nay sure, he’s not in hell; he’s in Arthur’s bosom, if ever man went to Arthur’s bosom. ’A made a finer end, and went away and it had been any christom child. ’A parted ev’n just between twelve and one, ev’n at the turning o’ th’ tide; for after I saw him fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers, and smile upon his finger’s end, I knew there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and ’a babbl’d of green fields.
My RSC edition made mention of a 'malapropism for Abraham's bosom ie heaven'. But then I found this on the web:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3194644?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

I'm not sure why you have used the word protocol? I associate the term more with diplomacy.

I'm enjoying this poem the more I revisit.

best

mac

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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by ray miller » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:01 pm

I thought it was something in the nature of a clinical assessment, Shakespearean style. Nice idea. I wonder who is meant to be answering the questions.

Does subject allude to the chimes at midnight? No,
this is an earlier stage, but having lived
a quiet life, she has rarely heard even
the Shipping Forecast at midnight.


The comment about her illness being at an earlier stage promises a degree of detached expertise, whereas the Shipping Forecast passage (which is wonderful) implies familiarity with the subject. I seem to be wearing my ex-psychiatric nurse's hat. You should probably take no notice.

I do think the last two lines are disappointing, anti-climactic.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

David
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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by David » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:16 pm

Good link, Mac. Personally I like the idea of Arthur's Bosom as somewhere that sounds wonderful but may actually just be a mistake of wishful thinking. Sounds like heaven to me.

Glad you're starting to enjoy it. Something similar happened to Seth when I posted it elsewhere: "I'm liking this more and more. It may be one of your best." I dunno about that, but ...

Ray, I am the answerer of the questions, which concern my late mother. (Darn it, I wanted to avoid being too autobiographical.) I put this together a couple of years ago, "at the time", perhaps as some sort of coping mechanism, but have left it in my notebook ever since. Perhaps I should have left it longer. But that may be why the answers seem to be all over the place.

In defence of the last two lines, I can only point at my comment to Mac above. I like them! But I'm often wrong.
ray miller wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:01 pm
I seem to be wearing my ex-psychiatric nurse's hat. You should probably take no notice.
Not at all. This is only one of your many presentable hats.

Cheers both

David

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Re: The Cheapside protocol

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:37 am

A most worthy and intriguing poem, David, if a tad inaccessible at times. Still, the Shakespeare references come through very well, adding in no small way to underlying mystery, something that I was drawn to, like a moth to a flame.

The overwhelming impression of a specialist asking questions in an attempt to understand the lady's condition comes through very well, and it's interesting that the questions are directed towards a third party and not the patient. Alzheimer's comes to the fore, as has already been mentioned, but it could also reference reminiscences and an awareness of approaching death, especially with the "chimes at midnight" allusion. This could also be a reference to hell raising, though I suspect not.

A quick Google confirmed Eastcheap to be the location, if you are indeed alluding to Mistress Quickly.

As a point of interest, I thought Abraham's/Arthur's bosom was akin to limbo, that place betwixt and between, some citing it as Hades, a dark place where all souls await judgement. It sounds like a pleasant place, though, one where we'd all like to find eternal peace.

Lots of Iambic lines but I don't think you've gone for a metered nearly sonnet, although the rhythms and form are SO close.

This is definitely a grower and one that slowly reveals, or perhaps suggests.

Very much enjoyed.

Best

JJ
David wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:37 pm
Does subject fumble with her sheets? She does.

And play with her finger ends? Yes, that too.

Does subject babble o' green fields? Certainly
there is burbling, if not babbling, difficult
to follow, with interpolations, as Hi! and
Come on then! Ending often with
That's right, isn't it? Which is always affirmed.

Does subject allude to the chimes at midnight? No,
this is an earlier stage, but having lived
a quiet life, she has rarely heard even
the Shipping Forecast at midnight.

And has any mention been made of Arthur's bosom?
We may all hope to rest in Arthur's bosom.
Long time a child and still a child

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