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

Welcome to Lexicon

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 …

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.

Sophia

                                                                        Sophia 30.07.1991—17.01.2014 In the Jewish tradition, those seeking to give comfort to the bereaved ask on their behalf for the memory of the loved one to be a blessing. It is a wise saying. Five years have passed since Sophia died. Five years of sorrow, but five years also of an astonishing grace. I am so grateful for Sophie’s life, for the joy of sharing 22

January 17th, 2019|Tags: , , |

July 30th, Sophia’s Birthday

July 30th It’s July 30th—Sophia’s birthday. She would be 27 this year, but (as noted HERE) she will now always be 22—“forever young,” like Keats himself. Sophia turned 22 in hospital. The lovely photograph on the splashdown page of this website was taken on her 22nd birthday—one of the precious handful taken on that day which are made special not just by their circumstance, but by their truthfulness. In the previous weeks, Sophia had been desperately ill. At one point, she was told with brutal directness that she had weeks to live. The battle against mortality which Sophia had always

Poetry on the Hill (2018)

Poetry on the Hill (2018) It was the Celebration of Books in Maleny last weekend, and beside the grand tree on the Precinct a poetry reading was once again held. Sponsored by Unity Water (careful stewards of the splendid site) and organised by Maleny’s creative community, the event was ably hosted by Radio National’s Kate Evans. The weather was glorious—one of those perfect winter days where the world seems all sky. The audience was warm and appreciative. The poetry, from six poets—MTC Cronin, Brett Dionysius, Vivienne Mohan, Angela Gardner, R. Nugent and, of course, Sophia Nugent-Siegal—gave such a fascinating insight

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