The Time of the Angels

An interaction with Malory

The Time of the Angels is a sequence of poems in which a young woman reads and re-reads Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur during the winter and spring of 1979.

The Time of the Angels

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Continued description

Time, like the weather, seems frozen. The ‘winter of discontent’ with its strife and strikes is only a faint hum in the background, as is the approaching General Election.

Time is also a long corridor in which a reader can walk briskly back and forth, knowing and still not knowing what will happen, experiencing events as accidental rather than inevitable. During the reading and re-reading, while the narrative continues, the reign of Arthur feels eternal and everlasting, but it must end, and badly.


Ryght so Cam Oute an Addir of a Lytyll Hethe-buysshe

Imagine the great black mark on the slithy head,
the withered furse, concealing Sin and Death
and oily scales, forked tongue and fangs, while
garnering its mean twigs in to last another season.

But this was crayoning in, it was not what happened.
It was a little bush, not worth description,
bleached earth, dull straw to camouflage a worm.
The knight pulled out his sword and thought none othir harme.