Survey of Literature
By John Crowe Ransom
In all the good Greek of Plato
I lack my roastbeef and potato.
A better man was Aristotle,
Pulling steady on the bottle.
I dip my hat to Chaucer,
Swilling soup from his saucer,
And to Master Shakespeare
Who wrote big on small beer.
The abstemious Wordsworth
Subsisted on a curd's-worth,
But a slick one was Tennyson,
Putting gravy on his venison.
What these men had to eat and drink
Is what we say and what we think.
The influence of Milton
Came wry out of Stilton.
Sing a song for Percy Shelley,
Drowned in pale lemon jelly,
And for precious John Keats,
Dripping blood of pickled beets.
Then there was poor Willie Blake,
He foundered on too sweet cake.
God have mercy on the sinner
Who must write with no dinner,
No gravy and no grub,
No pewter and no pub,
No belly and no bowels,
Only consonants and vowels.
From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in The Washington Post Book World. Today it's on rhyme and its effect on readers-listeners. "Rhyme has the joyousness of discovery, of hidden relation uncovered, as if by accident. It is a form of relationship and connection, of encounter and metamorphosis...it creates a partnership between words," Hirsch writes. "There is something charged and magnetic about a good rhyme, something unsuspected and inevitable, utterly surprising and unforeseen and yet also binding and necessary. It is as if the poet called up the inner yearning for words to find each other...pleasure abides in the sound of words coming together, in the pulse and beat, the rhythm of their conjoining."
Had typical Saturday morning. Wrote up preview transcript and dismal Enterprise ratings. Younger son had soccer then Hebrew (it was a parent learning day, so I sent my non-Jewish-raised spouse, who thus got to get up early for soccer and stay at Hebrew school), while older son had a friend over. When younger son got home, all the boys refused lunch so they could play Paper Mario; shortly afterward, since everyone was hungry, a fight broke out and both boys were barred from video games for the remainder of the weekend, leading to much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
In the afternoon we started to go to Great Falls, but halfway there we encountered a hailstorm, despite the fact that the sun was out and the sky was mostly blue! We kept driving anyway, but by the time we arrived, the sky had turned mostly gray and it was raining in earnest. We walked a little and I took a few photos but it was clear that the sky would open up at any moment, so we got in the car and drove to the co-op...so of course the clouds receded and the sun came out while we were shopping. But it started to pour again on the way home, so we probably made the right choice by leaving.
Evening: canned chili for dinner, folded laundry and watched parts of HP:COS for research purposes, fought with fic. Still fighting. Snape gets cranky so easily. Next time I write a novel, I want a protagonist who gives people the benefit of the doubt.
The color of the trees looks particularly dramatic when the leaves and trunks are wet.
Despite the precipitation, the Potomac River was much lower than the last time we visited.
So was the canal, which had been drained to try to find a corpse last week.
The tavern surrounded by wet foliage.
More fall foliage, seen through the melting hail on our windshield. There were big splatters of ice falling for several minutes.