If you have stayed with me this far, thank you and welcome to part 3, The Nursery.
Designed by Jane, Third Marchioness,
cradles of a culture, like or not,
faithfully preserved. Her taste
(as always), careless, brash and bold.
Room for a thousand childhoods -
but the room was always cold.
You must not miss the dolls' house, very small,
a replica of this house and its contents,
and inside that a perfect replica again,
and inside that,
brought to you by the power of virtual reality
a host of life-size families
with every detail of those times
to fit the present age.
For a pound coin in the hardware
adopt the mind-set of a former generation:
experience at first hand, act
see palaces of good and ill
see local knights,
your heroes once, promoted or demoted to a myth.
Ride out with us.
You'll see one or you'll see one not,
but where you see, there that uncertain king,
by Heisenberg , rides time past, present and continuing. ref
And the word of God was Euclid's ref
and the complex plane ref
was void and vacant. Darkness lay
in the abyss.
And men like Koch and Mandelbrot 1 2
said: "Let's give geometry a new dimension!" and
infinity began to bleed into the world again.
See Adam's single fruit upon its single tree
bifurcating endlessly to such diversity. ref
It seemed a simple plot
before division ruled the roost,
before turbulence was king, ref
when storm and chaos as we thought ref
grew only out of fear
and Gaston Julia had yet ref
to intuit how beauty met
with chaos and disorder
in a geometric set.
The lights flash on: GAME OVER!
An invitation: one more
coin, another world:
step right inside the dolls' house, step
right back to when it all began. There walk
with Newton on his solid hills, ref
meet Ptolemy or Abraham, ref
wear on your sleeve the soul of Einstein, Blake 1 2
or Hubble - Caedmon even, he whose polygene, 1 2 3
yours for a coin,
became our genius.
Technology, our modern grace,
enables you to sing
as he sang:
wild and hauntingly,
full-bodied, as a bird sings,
matching every note
to the subtleties and splendours of a God who spoke.
There dream his dream with us,
a man apart from what we call reality. There feel
his lack of choice, his wounded pride;
share with him his lowly station,
experience his flat, untutored voice
and know as he knew, this:
that just because he sang so in a dream
the power came to his life.
You, too, may sing of things you know not,
hear your voice power through the pious monasteries
and watch the bleak religions of your day awake to pray.
His world was shadowy.
You can explore that shade,
learn how the cattle were reality,
that Abbess Hilda was not real: ref
he knew her, of her, fed her cattle;
she remained a symbol of his bread and butter.
Facing her across the hallowed study,
terrified to speak lest you should break the spell,
feel the symbols change, feel living water
well up from the abbess in her, welcome him.
Be her and lose a servant;
be the world and gain a limb.
And everywhere, the great abyss,
the Dachau moment reigns supreme; ref
our second Genesis ref
begins in pain.
blind hero of blind poets down the years,
blind in the way that all blind men are blind,
blinded by the light's ambivalence,
bridges our divide
with his twofold vision.
With visual cortex
wired to sighted retinas around the world,
he bids you turn the virtual page
and join his Masterclass.
Here feel the moment grip and twist you,
feel desire in either form, see images
that freeze the sight-lines to the brain
and watch them spiral from the sky.
All that was human lies inhumed - until
a millionth of a thought-time later: miraculous free fall!
The dark sparks hammer in the brain again
to leave you breathless at the Berlin Wall. ref
From here and there, this one and that,
a world-wide web of whispers from the ruins
brings to the darkness of our cave, a patina of light.
The ivy broke the stones apart,
the dust encroached upon the heart,
the two towers crumbled into dust, ref
swallowed by a holy lust -
the lust that saw the Caryatids fall
then raise this more surpassing hall.
She and the hall were ever one,
who holds the host above her head
to give us all our daily bread.
See her days exposed to view.
The Dreamtime spread its arms in welcome. Those who knew ref
her in the old days
might not recognize her now.
The steel tap, tap on cobblestone and sett of her high heels
is both a proclamation and a provocation to their ears.
Wiser now and wealthy, elemental in her role,
she's our New Age Voodoo Lady with a mix of fetish doll.