Ten minutes until closing at the BL

I went to a Taize prayer service last night, where the seven of us spent a good part of the hour sitting in silence. Was anybody listening? Were we? I have been typing all day today, taking notes from the manuscripts and so have very few words left. A meditation on color and the number of drops of Christ's blood, instead.* Perhaps, if I get far enough into Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Travelled, I'll write a poem about it. For now, silence and the opportunity to listen to the rain.**

*BL Egerton MS 1821, fol. 6v-7. Can you count the drops? They should, if John Lowden's calculations are correct, come to somewhere around 5,475 all told--in other words, 15 x 365: the number of wounds Christ received in the course of the Passion, 15 for every day of the year.
**1 Kings 19:11-13. There was, in fact, a great thunderstorm in the middle of the hour, with hail and a great crashing of rain on the roof of the chapel. And then came silence.


  1. fol. = folio? I wonder if from folio-as in portfolio(sp) that we get foil? as in rolled or scroll?

  2. Folio comes from folium meaning "leaf". According to the OED, "foil" can also mean "leaf" (n1), but, as referring to fencing foils (n5), "that the word is, by some far-fetched association, a transferred use of FOIL n.1 a leaf (cf. F. fleuret fencing foil, lit. ‘floweret’, the button being compared to a bud) is a possibility for which at present there is no evidence." Which is too bad, really.

  3. I thought I was on too something.......



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