With my grill in hibernation and sodden snow outside, I’m dreaming of fêtes over fires, roasting sticks and beer koozies in hand. Unlike me, Londoners can act on such imaginings at The Art of Dining’s latest themed pop-up restaurant: Gone Camping. The Continental-kumbaya concept, conceived by chef Ellen Parr and set designer Alice Hodge, features a five-course, charcoaled meal, an ambiance soaked in woodsmoke, a canteen open to bartering and a soundtrack heavy with folk music.
In rooting around for camping gems, I found this, a fitting flit into fieriness, published in the August 2003 issue of Poetry Magazine:
by Kevin McFadden
The world shone in letters, Lucretius believed:
in firewood (lignis) was hidden (ignis) fire. Whatever
kindles your tinder. His mater flirted with matter
for that matter. Linguistics, logistics – two sticks
perhaps one shouldn’t rub together – but if,
on a night like this, by firelight and stars, one hears
the pater in the local patter, whose pattern
would that be? Father time, mother tongue,
we will be true to you in our fashion:
our fashion is to read what we choose to read.
A possible good in the bonfire – not the bone –
faint flag in the conflagration – not the blaze.
All things are fire, flame’s said to have tongues,
our dignity and our ignorance, our signatures.