Thursday, 21 January 2016

Isabel (January)

Language is full of mysteries, words we never use that suddenly assert their existence exactly on the page. Isabel, for example, first appears just when the Elizabethan Age concludes, but to me in January 2016. The dictionary, painfully literal, says it’s a woman’s name, but doesn’t know whose. It’s a shade of grey-yellow. Was isabel the Queen’s favourite combination? Is it like Shakespeare, an unprovable reference to the Queen? We wonder how many isabels belong in our own personal vocabulary. Isabel shifts between shade and light, its meaning alive to our seeing eyes, lost again in a closing book, unspoken.

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