The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Saturday


Chorus From Oedipus At Colonos
By Anthony Hecht


What is unwisdom but the lusting after
Longevity: to be old and full of days!
For the vast and unremitting tide of years
Casts up to view more sorrowful things than joyful;
And as for pleasures, once beyond our prime,
They all drift out of reach, they are washed away.
And the same gaunt bailiff calls upon us all.
Summoning into Darkness, to those wards
Where is no music, dance, or marriage hymn
That soothes or gladdens. To the tenements of Death.

Not to be born is, past all yearning, best.
And second best is, having seen the light.
To return at once to deep oblivion.
When youth has gone, and the baseless dreams of youth,
What misery does not then jostle man's elbow,
Join him as a companion, share his bread?
Betrayal, envy, calumny and bloodshed
Move in on him, and finally Old Age--
Infirm, despised Old Age--joins in his ruin,
The crowning taunt of his indignities.

So is it with that man, not just with me.
He seems like a frail jetty facing North
Whose pilings the waves batter from all quarters;
From where the sun comes up, from where it sets,
From freezing boreal regions, from below,
A whole winter of miseries now assails him,
Thrashes his sides and breaks over his head.

--------

Another by Hecht, who died earlier this week.

Had Migraine From Hell last night, Imitrex hadn't made a dent after two hours, I don't remember sleeping, so there are holes in my memory of yesterday. I did have a lovely lunch and afternoon with perkypaduan, during which Japanese food was eaten and Jason Isaacs was drooled over (related, from isaacs_daily: The West Wing, the middle one). Then I got my kids and we all had dinner with my parents who are going out of town for a week (this, psu_jedi, is why I have no babysitting on Saturday night), then I came home to review Enterprise's "Home", which had one very good storyline and two totally hackneyed, cliched subplots that nearly dragged it down.

Ah, I'm uninteresting this morning. Instead the Post Your Baby Picture! meme. I am not sure if this is cheating but I am posting my mother and my father's parents as well, because, really -- and I know this is blasphemy to say as a mother -- I don't find pictures of newborns all that thrilling, no matter how wrinkled and adorable they may be, unless it's a newborn in whom I have a particular investment. But it is always fascinating to see the faces of the relatives. Can you tell I was a first child and first grandchild? (If you want to know how I am going to look in ten years, take a good look at my father's mother on the right; I look more like her all the time.)







I think we're going to get pumpkins today and do some shopping and look at leaves, but tomorrow we are going to Catoctin and Gambrill and other parks where the color out to be spectacular. So the photos next week should be more enthralling. (ETA2: Recipe for cat lovers. Hee!)
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