Collis stands on a dunghill.

I have no objection whatever to standing on a dunghill. There is no place where I am more content to stand. But for how long? That’s the question. The dunghill today is rightly celebrated by poet, by prophet, and by priest. It is numbered amongst the highest riches of a land. I never feel better employed than when dealing with one. Thus engaged I can qualify for the approval of Sir Albert Howard and the tributes of statesmen, while also providing a perfect subject for a woodcut. True. But consider the reality. It is 2 p.m. There are three and a half hours to go. There is an icy wind. Also a drizzle. There is no one to talk to, and if anyone turns up there will be nothing to talk about. Though I am ‘close to the earth’ the dunghill soon ceased to be anything but an object, heavy and clogging. One wonders ‘what is the time?’ Alas — only 3.15!

–John Stewart Collis in The Worm Forgives the Plough

woodcut 16th cent Brit Museum
Woodcut from British Museum collection – 16th century

4 thoughts on “Collis stands on a dunghill.

  1. Have to laugh. I spent a couple of hours today digging horse manure into my garden beds. The wind is chill, but the sun shines and I soon warmed up. Still, a dung hill is a dung hill.


  2. One thing I wish I knew how to do is wood cut. I have been intrigued with it all of my life. I know only the basics, but that one is lovely.
    I think that is a awesome title too. Do you have rain. We have thick clouds, so it is a perfect November day.


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