Friday, June 01, 2007

Emily Dickinson

(poem #564)

My period had come for Prayer -—
No other Art -— would do -—
My Tactics missed a rudiment -—
Creator -— Was it you?

God grows above -- so those who pray
Horizons -- must ascend --
And so I stepped upon the North
To see this Curious Friend --

His House was not -- no sign had He --
By Chimney -- nor by Door
Could I infer his Residence --
Vast Prairies of Air

Unbroken by a Settler --
Were all that I could see --
Infinitude -- Had’st Thou no Face
That I might look on Thee?

The Silence condescended --
Creation stopped -- for Me --
But awed beyond my errand --
I worshipped -- did not “pray” --
I like Harvard Book Store

It's a good place to buy books (both new and second-hand), and perhaps a better place to sell books. Today I unloaded a few that I never should have purchased in the first place:

(1) Selected Prose by John Ashbery;

(2) Where Shall I Wander (poetry) by John Ashbery;

(3) The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara (whatever was I thinking when I bought this one?);

(4) The Dream Songs by John Berryman; and

(5) John L. Allen's 2000 biography of then-Cardinal Ratzinger, reissued and retitled Pope Benedict XVI -- this, largely a prolix complaint that the cardinal and future pontiff was not kind enough to dissident theologians.

I really should be more careful in my reading.
From the sublime to the ephemeral ...

You Scored 80% Correct

You are an 80s expert
You never confuse New Order with the Pet Shop Boys
You know which classical musician Falco rocked
When it comes to 80s music, you Just Can't Get Enough!

I sing quietly to the immediate heart
One more wild hope dies of affliction

-- from Cables to the Ace, #56

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

by Countee Cullen (1903-46)

Break me no bread however white it be;
It cannot fill the emptiness I know;
No wine can cool this desert thirst in me
Though it had lain a thousand years in snow;
No swooning lotus flower's languid juice
Drips anodyne unto my restlessness,
And impotent to win me to a truce
Is every artifice of loveliness.
Inevitable is the way I go,
False-faced amid a pageant permeate
With bliss, yet visioning a higher wave
Than this weak ripple washing to and fro;
The fool still keeps his dreams inviolate
Till their virginity espouse the grave.

:: :: ::

Today is the anniversary of the poet's birth.

An Encyclopaedia Britannica article on the poet.

Come, thou Holy Spirit, come,
And from thy celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, thou Father of the poor!
Come, thou Source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine!

Thou, of comforters the best;
Thou, the soul's most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessèd Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill!

Where thou art not, man hath naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away;

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess thee, evermore
In thy sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them thy salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I think Blogger wanted me to "upgrade my template." This I have done. Now I have to restore all the links I had in my other template's sidebar. Easy enough, right? But I've forgotten virtually all the html I used to know. So this will be something of a challenge.

And what in the world are widgets?

Update, 5.35 pm:

I've discovered how to add links to the sidebar: not nearly as difficult as anticipated. But I don't know how to install Haloscan; so, for the time being, I've switched to Blogger's commenting system.

Also, it's still impossible to link to the really old posts, because there's a "nopub" label attached to them.
Bei Dao

Link to a 2001 interview with the noted Chinese poet (exiled, until recently, from his homeland); included in the course of the interview, some of his poems. An excerpt:

Through the lens of language, even the reality of our days is altered. But in Bei Dao’s experience, the massive machinery of government was the sole arbiter of message and meaning.

“This phenomena [sic] really took off in the late stages of the Cultural Revolution when all our word-groups became fixed by the Party—and this was seen in newspapers, broadcasts, and in the language people used to speak with each other. As a simple example, take the word ‘sun’ or the word ‘red.’ ‘Sun’ really means ‘the leader,’ and ‘red’ means ‘the Party.’ I had a friend from middle school who was asked, ‘What color do you like?’ His response was, ‘I like blue.’ And this boy was censured for having the wrong political attitude, for being politically incorrect. In this way, the language has become so fixed and so controlled, there are no outside means of expression.”

Monday, May 28, 2007

Blogger problem

Still dealing with the phenomenon of the double permalink number (e.g.,

How to get rid of that extra #7204484625214645014? Someone out there must know the secret. Clue me in, if you can. Many thanks.
And this

via Credo ut intelligam:

You Belong in 1953

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!
Well, one thing's for sure

There's no way I'd pick Starbucks over Dunkin' Donuts.

You Are 80% Massachusetts

You're pretty Massachusetts, but you're starting to slip. Go eat a bulky roll and flip off a New Yorker.