Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pictures and bodies

After my pontificating about words being more important than pictures, I was studying Robert Browning's photo (he's the writer, you may remember, of "Porphyria's Bloke") and noticed that he was rather handsome. Here he is when young. He has a slight air of Colin Firth, don't you think? This photo mercifully shades out his rather appalling side whiskers, mind you.

You can see why Elizabeth Barrett might have leapt from her sofa when he appeared.

Still quite good-looking as an older chap.

And even when fairly venerable, he's quite sweet in a Santa-ish way - though actually he died at 77, so he does look his age, I suppose. Too many pies by that time.
On another topic: is it just me, or do you find this first sentence (edited to: this second sentence (thank you, Veg Artist))* by one of my science students (to whom I teach English) a bit ... creepy? I asked them to write about why they'd been inspired to do science at university and he wrote:

Science is a beautiful subject. The human body is an inner space, poised and ready for dissection by the inquisitive and hungry-for-knowledge biologist of the present age.

Yes... Don't think I'm going to leave my body sitting around too near this chap. Luckily I wouldn't often describe myself as poised.

* I think I meant first paragraph but you might think I'd know the difference between a sentence and a paragraph, wouldn't you? It was late at night. I was rushing. And stuff.


  1. Being pedantic, do you mean the second sentence? I actually agree with him on the first, but the second is, I agree with you, wierd.

  2. Which sentence don't I mean? That I'm not poised?

  3. That sentence is a bit shiver inducing when you stop and think about it. (Though one has to admire the adroit use of the hyphen).
    Definitely think the side whiskers are better shaded out.

  4. Isabelle, you missed a commenter's spello! (There now, I'm being pedantic, using a horrible made-up word, AND trouble-making!)

    Sorry, Veg Artist, friend and correspondent of mine......

    And yes, Isabelle, you are quite poised, I think. Even when rushing for the train.....

  5. Eloquent and creepy...

    If science doesn't work out, perhaps the student could become a horror writer.

  6. Hahahahahahhhh! You crack me up! Wouldn't describe yourself as poised! HEe heeheeheheee!

  7. Yes I agree with Shannon. It is definitely a creepy sentence.

  8. Oh, I see what the Veg Artist means. His second sentence. Yes, indeed. That is indeed what I meant. D'oh. Silly me.

  9. I get scared commenting on this site co i is not gud wiv grammar and skoolin n stuff.....always imagine a 'tut tut' somewhere from a clever reader.
    Good to remember that old men were sexy young fellows once though isn't it? and keep away from the spooky student.

  10. Walk away from the creepy student! Walk away! :)

  11. I would probably start hearing Bach's Toccata and Fugue playing in my head every time that student walked in after reading that.

    Oh to be in England
    Now that facial's hair...

  12. But, Isabelle, dear ... you are very poised in my book!

    And oh dear. I hope you don't fall asleep in the same class with that student.