Saturday, September 15, 2007

College students walk into a graveyard

as Theodore Roethke reads "The Waking":

(Note: The video begins with a period of silence; do not turn your volume too far up!)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Waste Land Limericks
by Wendy Cope (b. 1945)


In April one seldom feels cheerful;
Dry stones, sun and dust make me fearful;
Clairvoyantes distress me,
Commuters depress me --
Met Stetson and gave him an earful.


She sat on a mighty fine chair,
Sparks flew as she tidied her hair;
She asks many questions,
I make few suggestions --
Bad as Albert and Lil -- what a pair!


The Thames runs, bones rattle, rats creep;
Tiresias fancies a peep --
A typist is laid,
A record is played --
Wei la la. After this it gets deep.


A Phoenician named Phlebas forgot
About birds and his business -- the lot,
Which is no surprise,
Since he'd met his demise
And been left in the ocean to rot.


No water. Dry rocks and dry throats,
Then thunder, a shower of quotes
From the Sanskrit and Dante.
Da. Damyata. Shantih.
I hope you'll make sense of the notes.


Cope has also written these lines (seen at her Wikipedia page):

My true love hath my heart and I have hers
We swapped last Tuesday and felt quite elated
But now whenever one of us refers
To 'my heart' things get rather complicated.

And another Cope poem, "An Attempt at Unrhymed Verse," has been blogged at Enchiridion.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Eugenio Montale

From the Italian Nobel literature laureate (1975): Salt.

An excerpt:

starched consonants braid the tongue at its root

so all sense of who we are is lost to words,

and nothing that we know can be unravelled.

Even then, some vestige of the sea,

its plosive tide, its fretwork crests will surge

inside our syllables, bronze like the chant of bees.

Not all poetry gets lost in translation!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Saturday's, uhm, lovely, weather

It was 95 degrees in Boston. Tied a record for the date.

Just splendid.

Sixties today, though. Huzzah!
Ogden Nash on the martini
(spotted at Andrew Sullivan's blog)

There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish that I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth --
I think that perhaps it's the gin.