Artificial light

At the end of last year the sodium street lamps in our street were updated and the light changed from sodium yellow to electric white.

As odd as this may sound, this felt like an augury to me.

In 1981, in an interview, Dr Eliot Slater, the first Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry recalled the thoughts behind the choice of neon yellow for the front cover of the journal:

Many writers and poets have written about artificial street lighting and neon illumination.

‘Metroland‘ by Julian Barnes includes this passage:

Also from ‘Metroland’:

‘Metroland’ continued:

In ‘Lolita‘ by Vladimir Nabokov:

In ‘The Plague’ by Albert Camus:

And this from ‘The High Mountains of Portugal’ by Yann Martel:

And this from ‘The Muse’ by Jessie Burton:

And this by the doctor and poet, William Carlos Williams:

And this by Deborah Levy from ‘The Cost of Living’:

And Yann Martel with backward-walking Tomás:


One of my favourite poems is this one by Iain Crichton Smith:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s