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Okay, now that I have typed the phrase busy bee, all I can think of is that scene in Gladiator where Commodus has reached a-place-that-is-beyond-creepy and he calls Lucillia a busy bee. I always want to scream at Lucillia to just grab her kid and leave the palace.
But I wanted to pop in for a minute to once again apologize for not posting and to assure you that I am still alive and well! I’ve been in over my head in events, planning and projects. The picture above shows the sewing project I’ve been working on – 20+ Shakespearean shirts for a middle school production of Taming of the Shrew. Ooo, ooo, that Shakespearean rag. . .
And to add to the randomness of this post, here is a poem for you:
MORNING AT THE WINDOW
by: T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
THEY are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens,
And along the trampled edges of the street
I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids
Sprouting despondently at area gates.
The brown waves of fog toss up to me
Twisted faces from the bottom of the street,
And tear from a passer-by with muddy skirts
An aimless smile that hovers in the air
And vanishes along the level of the roofs.
My roommate found this video produced by BBC. Apparently they have a whole series of Horrible Histories – I thought this one was particularly funny!
Two items of note: 1) Film above is the story of Dick Turpin which is romanticized by William Harrison Ainsworth in his novel Black Bess, of The Knight of the Road. 2) In case you were wondering, from what I can tell the poem The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes is based in Scotland, not England, on a generic highwayman character, not Dick Turpin, but I could be wrong.
P.S. Did you know that Alfred Noyes converted to Catholicism?
So I stumbled across this piece by Benjamin Britten, called Friday Afternoon op. #7 (Cuckoo). I guess it was used in Moonrise Kingdom, the film by Wes Anderson, which I haven’t seen yet and I mean to soon.
Anyway, I love this bit so much I made it my alarm. It’s perfect! I love waking up to it. I love it so much that I press snooze several times so I can hear it again and again (never mind that I would be pressing snooze anyway).
Another great feast day! Happy feast of St. John of the Cross – his poetry is so beautiful! Enjoy! (Plus with a poem about the night like this, doesn’t it seem appropriate that there is a meteor shower sheduled on St. John’s feast?)
|On A Dark Night by St. John of the Cross
On a dark night,
In darkness and secure,
In the happy night,
This light guided me
Oh, night that guided me,
Upon my flowery breast,
The breeze blew from the turret
I remained, lost in oblivion;
One my New Year’s resolutions was to memorize a poem, and I am still trying to get around to that. It’s not the first time I have tried to memorize poetry, I picked out Kubla Khan by a year ago to try and memorize the whole thing, and now I have the first two lines - yay me, aren’t you impressed? Now maybe I’ll try to put the whole thing to memory before 2013. Apparently (according to a Wikipedia article, the English major in me cringes when I look things up on Wikipedia, I don’t like to quote Wikipedia, so part of me will just disregarding everything I just learned there, but. . . ) T. S. Elliott did not like the poem Kubla Kahn – which makes me panic a little bit. If a great man like T. S. Elliot didn’t like something, who am I to argue? But then again, it sounds so cool!
Confession: the other reason I like this poem is because they read the first couple lines in the movie Shipwrecked. So I’ve had the first two lines down by heart since I was, oh, I don’t know, eight or nine.
Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Or a Vision in a Dream. A Fragment.
- In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
- A stately pleasure-dome decree:
- Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
- Through caverns measureless to man
- Down to a sunless sea.
- So twice five miles of fertile ground
- With walls and towers were girdled round:
- And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
- Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
- And here were forests ancient as the hills,
- Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
- But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
- Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
- A savage place! as holy and enchanted
- As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
- By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
- And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
- As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
- A mighty fountain momently was forced:
- Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
- Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
- Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
- And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
- It flung up momently the sacred river.
- Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
- Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
- Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
- And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
- And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
- Ancestral voices prophesying war!
- The shadow of the dome of pleasure
- Floated midway on the waves;
- Where was heard the mingled measure
- From the fountain and the caves.
- It was a miracle of rare device,
- A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
- A damsel with a dulcimer
- In a vision once I saw:
- It was an Abyssinian maid,
- And on her dulcimer she played,
- Singing of Mount Abora.
- Could I revive within me
- Her symphony and song,
- To such a deep delight ‘twould win me,
- That with music loud and long,
- I would build that dome in air,
- That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
- And all who heard should see them there,
- And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
- His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
- Weave a circle round him thrice,
- And close your eyes with holy dread,
- For he on honey-dew hath fed,
- And drunk the milk of Paradise.
Cheese alert: what you about to see includes spacy-kinda-weird music, and cheesy filming of nature and buildings. But, what you are about to hear is Sir Sean Connery reciting the poem Ithaca by C.P. Cavafy. It is pretty awesome.
Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart runaway in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever!
This past week was so busy, dear readers, I apologize for the lack of posts. I’ll be better next week. Promise. In the mean time, I am going to bed.
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby) by Eugene Field (1850-1895)
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe—
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea—
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish—
Never afeard are we”;
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
‘T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ‘t was a dream they ‘d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea—
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
3 O’clock on a Monday Afternoon
High up in an ugly tower,
A damsel sits in an enchanted bower.
Held captive by a magic screen
That glows an eerie shade of green.
Will no knight come?
Will no prince fight?
And bring the dark-haired damsel to clear daylight?
There is a tree that he could climb,
It’s right outside the window.
There is a glass that he could break,
And come flying into.
Or, if he signs in at the hall below
He can tell the guard “see you later!”
For it’s only in this modern age
A rescue can be organized via elevator.