Lexicon : Sophia Nugent Siegal

“As poets and as readers we are both the users and the transmitters of this lexicon. Today we need to keep adding not subtracting meaning, remembering not forgetting, to connect ourselves to the chain that ultimately joins all cultures.”

Sophia Nugent-Siegal

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CONVERSATION with SophiaWittgenstein famously concluded his Tractatus with the memorable comment: “Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent”.

Unlike Ludwig, Sophia, in whose memory this site is maintained, did not accept “remaining silent” as a viable intellectual option—not because she thought ultimate meaning any more expressible than did Wittgenstein, but because she thought the battle was necessary.

Heroic, doomed to failure, absolutely essential.

Read on …

Azure Kingfisher

Azure Kingfisher This past week I have on four occasions seen glorious azure kingfishers, singly or in a pair, in heart-leaping flight over the now-flowing waters of our local creek. No photograph can do justice to these resplendent little creatures. They truly must be experienced “momently”. It made me think of a poem I wrote a long time ago—long before Sophie died, long before she became seriously ill, when she was still a teenager. It was written following one of our many walks together. I had dedicated it to Sophie, because it reflected her developing worldview, in which she saw

Love is eternal. . .

Sophia 30.07.1991---17.01.2014 Loving you always. . .   And if this was the world’s last night I should not fear to be undone. Love is the songline of the soul, A cascading radiance, linked like synapses in the brain, Rippling in one scintillant universal thought. For this is grief’s impossible truth, the paradox Lived in deepest loss. Love is eternal. Leaf XLVII by R. Nugent (from Leaves: Poems for my Daughter)    

January 17th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

Of Love and Light. . .

Of Love and Light. . . Sophie, age 4, with her beloved Auntie Kaye, stepping into the light, Assisi, Italy This Christmas, Sophie’s article about Christian mission has really been resonating in my mind. The article concludes with the following paragraph: “Jesus didn’t lay out a grand plan for a Christian social system. He came to speak to individual men and women to lead them to faith. By busily searching for the mote in the eye of political institutions, one risks failing to see the beam in one’s own. Moreover, the conflation of Christian theology and political thought

December 25th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

Another Spring…

Another Spring. . . Written 2 years ago, the poem below is as true this year as it will be each year of the future you will never see, my darling. But this too is true---that you live in every word of it, Soph. You are in every thought, in every word I write. For one of the things you taught me, beautiful child, is the discipline of choosing light over darkness. . . the necessary discipline of shaping from sorrow a painful beauty. Another spring, and the maple tree Where last night’s stars, those glittering baubles, Tangled pendant in

October 30th, 2019|Tags: , , |

Quadrant: Sophia’s Poems

Quadrant: Sophia’s Poems Quadrant magazine has published two of Sophia’s poems in their October edition. How wonderful this is! I think Sophie would be very pleased. One of the things that would please her most was that the poems were submitted, and subsequently accepted, with no reference having been made either to her age at the time of writing them or to the fact of her death. The poems were taken from Antiquity, her earliest collection, which was concerned largely with mythological themes. The two poems published were written when she was 13. They are thus the work of a very

A Beautiful Thing. . .

A Beautiful Thing. . . MTC Cronin's Sometimes the Soul, dedicated to Sophia, has been published in a limited edition of only 22 copies---one for each year of Sophia's life. Each signed and numbered copy is printed on archival paper. The booklets are hand-stitched by artist, Fiona Dempster (who also provided the title calligraphy), and have been wrapped in acid-free tissue paper. They are designed to last for hundreds of years. Sophia was an historian as well as a poet concerned with time and mortality. It seems only fitting, in her memory, to make beautiful objects of beautiful ideas that

September 12th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

A Pause in Space-Time: Sometimes the Soul

A Pause in Space-Time The first reading of MTC Cronin’s Sometimes the Soul, dedicated to Sophia, was given to a small invited audience on September 24th. It was a special event—a wonderful poem read to an appreciative audience under a brilliant blue sky with rainbow lorikeets for accompaniment. It was gentle, intimate, and real—a “pause in space-time” that will speak to those who understand why it matters. Sophia was---and is---a joy and a gift. The poems written for her award are intended as a gift to others in her memory. MTC Cronin’s Sometimes the Soul is a beautiful thing. Sophia would

Sophia’s Birthday

On Birth Days   July 30th. It is once again Sophia’s birthday. Twenty-eight years ago today, Sophia arrived in the world as she was to live in it: small and delicate in her physical frame, powerful in her presence. Amidst all the danger and drama of the moment, little Sophia remained completely composed at the centre of a whirlwind of confusion. The words the midwife whispered into my ear in the operating theatre have a particular resonance: “You have a beautiful little girl. She’s just calmly looking around at the world with big eyes. You know, I think this one

Remembering John Keats…

Remembering John Keats... Window, Keats' House “Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man…” It’s February 23rd today. On Friday, February 23rd 1821, John Keats died in Rome in the narrow rooms of a little apartment tucked beside the Spanish Steps. Sophia visited it as a small child. It had quite an effect on her. This was the house of a writer, and 4-year-old Sophie—pint-sized lover of words, maker of stories, singer of songs—knew even then that she was going to be a writer. Keats was one of her own, and he remained so.

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