Reading Watching Listening

Reading…

Nox by Anne Carson. It’s for the dissertation. It’s not the first time I’ve read it. It’s interesting, and occasionally beautiful, but it’s long, and cumbersome, and my personal desire to not be working on this project right now is probably interfering with my ability to objectively evaluate any of the works I’m (supposed to be) writing about.

Watching…

The most recent seasons of ArrowThe Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. At this point, Legends is the only one that I’m particularly interested in, but they are just interconnected enough that I feel obligated to keep watching the others. BUT I read an article about casting changes for the new seasons of a bunch of shows, and there are good things (as far as I’m concerned) happening for Arrow and Legends, so maybe those two will survive in the rotation of “things I watch.”

Listening…

A lot of 70s/80s. A LOT of Jackson C. Frank. It’s good for the soul.

Wednesday Words

East Coker
T.S. Eliot

 

V

So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years —
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres
Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate — but there is no competition —
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.

There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight
(The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
Fro a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

 

 

— This is the fifth and final section of “East Coker,” the second poem in Eliot’s Four Quartets

Quoted

…it’s become a mantra for me and our family that, win or lose, it’s important to “get caught trying.” Whether you’re trying to win an election or pass a piece of legislation that will help millions of people, build a friendship or save a marriage, you’re never guaranteed success. But you are bound to try. Again and again and again.

— Hillary Clinton, in What Happened

Reading Watching Listening

Reading…

What Happened by Hillary Clinton. It’s important.

Watching…

Good Girls Revolt. Fantastic writing. Kickass costumes. This show will make you want to stand up for something. And that is just about the most important thing these days.

Listening…

The The Is Us soundtrack. It’s so good. So. Good. For a show that makes me cry every single episode, the soundtrack makes me oddly happy. Plus, I’ve been waiting years for a new song from Mandy Moore, and she kills it on her cover of “Willin'”

 

Wednesday Words

When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be
John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love — then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

 

— from Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats (The Modern Library, 2001)

Quoted

There is such a place as fairyland – but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth, they must dwell in the common light of common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.

— L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday Words

In the Drawing Room

How they’re all around us, these gentlemen
in chamberlain’s dress and jabots,
like a night growing ever darker
around its Order Star, implacably,
and these ladies, slight and fragile, yet
made large by their dresses, one hand in their laps,
small, like a tiny dog with its collar:
how they’re around us all: around the reader,
around the peruser of these bibelots,
of which several remain their property.

Tactful, they let us live life undisturbed
as we conceive it and as they fail
to understand it. They wanted to blossom,
and blossoming is being beautiful. But we want to ripen,
and this means being dark and taking pains.

 

— from The Poetry of Rilke: Bilingual Edition, trans. & ed. Edward Snow (North Point Press, 2009)

Reading Watching Listening

Reading…

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker. On the polar opposite of Wine. All The Time., which I read just before this, this book makes me want to run away from the wine world screaming. I am FIRMLY on Marissa Ross’s side when it comes to approaches to wine (aka I want to feel relatively confident discussing, purchasing, and drinking wine). Becoming a sommelier sounds horrifying, though in a way where I suppose I kind of admire these people? Bosker’s writing is fresh and entertaining, so the book is a good read. It just also makes me want to scream fairly frequently.

Watching…

Jane the Virgin. Okay, technically I watched this. I’m caught up and stoked for the next season. It took me forever to get over the premise of this show (anyone who has grown up in a religious household where virgin birth is taught as a real possibility is probably going to at least be residually uncomfortable with the notion.) I’m glad my friends persisted in telling me how much they liked it, because I’m loving the modern telenovela structure, the narrator is hilarious, and the characters are loveable and weird.

Listening…

A lot of CBC Radio 2 this week. Which is never a bad choice in my book.

Quoted

“Then I decided that this disorder and this dilemma, revealed by my desire to write on Photography, corresponded to a discomfort I had always suffered from: the uneasiness of being a subject torn between two languages, one expressive, the other critical; and at the heart of this critical language, between several discourses, those of sociology, of semiology, and of psychoanalysis — but that , by ultimate dissatisfaction with all of them, I was bearing witness to the only sure thing that was in me (however naïve it might be): a desperate resistance to any reductive system.”

— Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida