Monday, 10 November 2008

XII : Lament

No stait in Erd heir standis sicker;

As with the wind wavis the wicker

So wavis this Warldis vanite;

Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Though I now have my “Collected Dunbar”, I first encountered this poem, appropriately enough for one of my frivolous type of mind, in Michael Innes’ thriller “Lament for a Maker”.

He hes tane ROULL of Abirdene,

And gentill ROULL of Corstorphine;

Two bettir fallowis did no man se:

Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Of the writers whose pictures appear in this book, these are already dead:

Basil Bunting;

Alexander Trocchi;

John Riley;

Frances Horowitz;

Peter Laver.

Of these, only Basil can be said to have reached his proper term.

Sen for the Deid remeid is non,

Bets is that we for deid dispone,

Eftir our deid that leif may we.

Timor Mortis conturbat me.

William Dunbar

David M James, 1988


Anonymous said...

What an amazing collection! I was at many of these readings and the photos certainly capture the feeling of those times. I would point out though that you've misspelled Frances Horovitz's name in the text and links, so her link doesn't work. Also Ceolfrith not Coelfrith.

Patty O'Boyle said...

Thanks for this marvelous site Simon.It is a great tribute to your father.
Colpitts Poetry is still going strong and we have a few of David's photos on our website.Carol still runs the Colpitts Hotel and many of the audience and poets still come regularly to readings.
We also have 30 framed photos, which were exhibited twice in Durham during the Literature Festival and hopefully will be again. It would be great to have some of them permamently on display in a new Arts Centre.
We would like to have a link to the site from our own if you could get in touch through
I last spoke to your father in 2005 when we celebrated 30 years of Colptts, but he was sadly unable to come down to the event. It was great to speak to him again after so many years, and it's wonderful to see this record of his work. The photos have a quality of grainy authenticity which cannot be matched, and capture the moods and atmosphere of the readings so well.
Patty O'Boyle
Colpitts Poetry