The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday

By Guillaume Apollinaire
Badly Translated By Me

Fireworks in steel.
How charming is this lightning,
Mixing grace with real
Bravery; how clever, how enlightening.

Two shots, rose exclamations,
Expose their pointy tips above --
Saucy, exposed nipples, like that woman's.

Some epitaph. So, a poet in a forest
Looks at his pistol, bored,
But the safety catch is on. Honest --
Even roses die of hope in the forest. Floored,

He fingers the roses of Saadi
And suddenly his head droops,
For a rose mirrors to him suddenly
A woman's hip, fat layered in loops

And the air is full of a pungent wine
Filtered from the stars, blinking.
The shells waft the night's perfume where you recline --
Death among the roses, stinking.

This is the state house in Hartford, where we spent most of the day today. After a night at what has got to be the worst HoJo in North America (the toilet leaked all over the floor in the night, there was no hot water at all in the shower, the AC didn't work, I could go on and on...but it was under $50 for four people), we drove to Gloria Dei church in Bristol, where my father in law was pastor for 15 years, and past the parsonage where they lived from the time apaulled and I started dating until 2001.

From there we went to the playground behind the local middle school where we used to take the kids to play. None of the museums opened till noon, so we figured it would be good if they burned off some energy, and I wanted to walk to the lake behind the school where I used to see frogs and turtles and ducks (and did again). After half an hour there, it was not even eleven, so we went over to the West Hartford Reservoir to take a serious hike.

My brilliant husband had remembered the loop as being about a mile around and it was only when we were halfway around it that we learned it was, in fact, nearly three miles, but it was a gorgeous day to be hiking, the paths around the reservoir are gorgeous and the kids did a lot of running.

We picnicked near the reservoir, then drove to the Science Center of Connecticut. Here it is with its famous enormous model of a sperm whale, Connecticut's state animal, out front. I know I have gone on before about how anyone with kids who likes to travel should join the nearest science center that exchanges free visits with other science centers; this is our third museum in a month off that membership.

There's a pendulum, a room full of different kinds of turtles and tortoises, another large area with animals (we saw a demonstration with a blue-tongued skink, and lots of snakes, bobcats, small rodents, etc.), a planetarium, a computer lab, and they had an exhibit of animatronic whales. But my favorite thing there has always been the kaleidoscope room. This is a room about six feet high and six feet long, ending with an inverted pyramid of mirrors, where people can wave different wands in front of a camera and change the light images projected and reflected like a giant kaleidoscope, while classical music is playing. It is one of the most relaxing places I've been.

Here is a picture of a prairie dog at the science center just because it's so cute. From here we drove to the Wadsworth Atheneum, which is undergoing repairs to the outside and doesn't allow photography in the galleries inside, so you will have to take my word for it that Hunt's Lady of Shalott is as spectacular in person as ever, though because of the renovations, a lot of the Thomas Cole paintings seemed to be off display which was a bummer. The kids however were more attentive than I have ever seen them in an art museum, particularly among the Renaissance religious art for reasons which seem to have to do with them having seen Jesus Christ Superstar -- am unsure how to feel about this.

Finally, we drove to Old Saybrook Pizza Works, which has enormous model train layouts all across the top floor and a larger scale train running on the first floor. The models include a Godzilla, WWII fighter jets, and the movie theater visible in this photo, but what we really appreciated was the Ted Kennedy Driving School situated right on the water. Heh.

Sorry for not having answered comments -- been a long complicated day! Hope everyone is well. Tomorrow we are going to Mystic, to the aquarium and the seaport, so there will be rays and sharks and ships, and we are getting up early so I thought I had better post tonight!
Tags: new england 04

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