Saturday, February 23, 2008

I'm not turning (back) into a leftist

With my defense of Mrs Obama over the "really proud" comment, my putting up a YouTube clip of my senior senator belting out "Ay, Jalisco" (in which he garbles the lyrics) at an Obama rally, and my posting some beautiful lines of a Stalinist poet ... some readers might have cause to wonder.

With Neruda, it's the writing, not the politics, that magnetizes. And with Teddy K, well, that was just irresistibly bad.

Friday, February 22, 2008

tus ojos se cerraron como dos alas grises

-- Neruda, sonnet 81

your eyes closed like two gray wings


una copa en que cae la ceniza celeste,
una gota en el pulso de un lento y largo río

-- Neruda, sonnet 84

a chalice filling with celestial ashes,
a drop in the pulse of a long slow river

[trans. Stephen Tapscott]
Yo pagué la vileza con palomas.

-- Pablo Neruda, sonnet 78

I repaid vileness with doves.
Una canción

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Auden's birthday!

To commemorate, some light verse by the master.
They're all OK

A helicopter with Sens. Biden, Hagel, and Kerry on board makes an emergency landing in Afghanistan.
Keats and Yeats are on your side ...

... a Smiths lyric for your Thursday.

Addendum : Here's a video that a couple of guys (not the Smiths) made for the song. Was going to post a clip of a live performance of the song, but it pains me to say that Morrissey is a horrid vocalist in live performances.

There's a moment in the video that strikes me as being, well, a little mean-spirited. And it seems they couldn't find a headstone with the date 1804 on it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mrs. Obama's minor gaffe
or, much ado about not much

“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country,” she told a Milwaukee crowd today, “and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."
A minor gaffe, if a gaffe at all. Some have gone so far as to demand an apology, which is ridiculous. Call me unpatriotic, but I just don't see the big deal.

Get on Mr. and Mrs. Obama's case for their support of infanticide. That's an issue. If McCain tries to make too much hay out of this "really proud" comment, he'll seem like an aging jingoist throwing sand against the tsunami of youth and charisma.

Remember when Gov. Clinton in a 1992 debate referred to the sitting president as "Mr. Bush" (instead of "Mr. President") ... and four years later, with Clinton as president, Bob Dole was still harping on it? How effective was that?

Michelle Obama's gaffe, if a gaffe it can be called, is the approximate equivalent of Bill Clinton's "Mr. Bush" moment. Let it go.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Dancers Exercising"

A poem by Amy Clampitt (1920-94).