The surface of your writing, like the surface of Loch Ness

6. The surface of your writing, like the surface of Loch Ness,
Reflects with studied innocence the radiant summer sky,
And sometimes, as the critics and the fisherfolk profess,
There breaks the undulation of a black bulk rippling by.

We place the pretty legend by the creatures that we know —
The dolphin, as it were, the water-serpent and the whale;
But the silent stir comes swelling from that cavern far below
Where the monster coils in comfort, swishing gently with his tail.

[I had this already, but undated]

This must have had some connection with Jocelyn or it couldn’t have been included in the readings at his funeral. It may have been what she called a rare showing to a student whose poetry she had criticized when he showed it .. just to show she ‘knew how to go on’. Or it may have been meant to show him that she saw through his affectations, that he was hiding talents to impress her when he chose to show those.

7. Thank God for themselvesness,
The sheer unpredicted
Distinct and defiant
Otherness of them !

Though mortally subject to bent , circumstance and stress ,
They stand once and for all determined by contingent choice ;
Themselves in their scope the uttermost fruits of free-will ,
And they a set of souls responsible for them.

Thank God for themselvesness , then :
But this , and merely the flow , is insufficient .
Strolling the path beyond the churchyard , I
Eat over-ripe strawberries and hurl their leaves through the railings .


The funeral collection makes no change in this . It expresses Marion’s consistent insistence on our all being accountable, for belief as well as action , and that no excuse is possible whether mental illness or nervous disability. According to Jocelyn’s father, Jocelyn did at the last join the Roman church. For Marion, the sticking point would remain, in Papal Infallibility.