September 9th, 2003

little review

Poem for Tuesday

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Last night I watched the American Experience installment on the building and destruction of the World Trade Center. The last hour was utterly devastating, as expected -- I haven't watched that footage continuously since the day it happened, and I do wonder what the producers were thinking, playing swelling music over footage of the buildings collapsing -- we don't need some fucking score to remind us how we're supposed to feel! But the first hour and a half on the building and development of the architecture, the ruin and rebirth of Cortlandt Street, the tightrope walker who spent several hours walking between the buildings before being arrested and then becoming a folk hero with a plaque for his stunt (damn I love America that way), the idea of the towers as anchors across New York...wonderful stuff.

My grandparents were all from Brooklyn and we used to go up there regularly; my in-laws lived in Hartford until they retired two years ago, and my sister lives in Armonk, and we drive past New York City to visit either of them. So although I hadn't been in the WTC in years before it was destroyed, it had been on the periphery of my life forever, and was the one structure my kids always looked out the window and identified as we approached the city from New Jersey on the way north.

I learn wonderful things from the people on the staff list at GMR. This week on the What's New page, Grey quoted the "Where now the horse and the rider?" song sung by the Rohirrim and adapted in the film of The Two Towers into a speech by Theoden. "Tolkien was inspired by, very clearly, the so-called 'ubi sunt' passage of the Old English poem 'The Wanderer,' one of the Old English elegies from The Exeter Book, a tenth century manuscript that contains most of the Old English poetry outside of Beowulf," wrote Lisa Spangenberg on the mailing list, providing a link to a picture from "The Wanderer" (though the bit Tolkien was inspired by, she says, comes a bit later in the poem). ealgylden, I am sure you already know this but I thought of you immediately.

Gacked from dr_jekyl, this is my older son's birthstone and not terribly true of me but I do like the stone a lot:

You're a Sapphire. You seem to be unreachable, but
deep inside, you are really a nice and warm
person. You are elegant and get along well with
people once you know them.
What Jewel Are You?
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