August 31st, 2008

little review

Poem for Sunday

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The weather forecast this morning said that there might be storms in the afternoon, so although we had toyed with the idea of going to Solomon's or to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, we decided to postpone those plans and go downtown to the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Library of Congress. The former has an exhibit closing soon on Arms and Armor in Shakespeare, which we figured would be fun to see before going to the Renfaire anyway. It wasn't a very large exhibit but there was some lovely stuff -- the Earl of Pembroke's suit of armor, a sword that had been underwater for 500 years after the siege of Castillon, a Native American staff -- plus there's a First Folio in a case in the same exhibition hall, and a new film about the library's preservation work.


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The Library of Congress recently revamped its visitor center so that tourists as well as scholars can have access to some of its more interesting holdings. It has three fabulous exhibits right now: one on Thomas Jefferson's library, which became the foundation of the Library of Congress after the British burned the original congressional library, another on the creation of the United States through its documents, with rough drafts and letters about the Declaration of Independence and Constitution written by Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Mason, et al (you can see in their own handwriting the argument about whether to abolish slavery), and a third on exploring the Americas, with a fantastic early map exhibit, a collection of naturalist studies and a study of the effects on the people already here of the colonists and vice versa. There's also a wonderful side display on pirates and piracy and a display of maps of Drake's voyages.

I found a DVD copy of Paul Mazursky's Tempest with John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands in the Folger gift shop and intended to watch it in the evening, but Adam was working on a school project that he needed help putting together and by the time I sat down, it was after 10. So instead we watched the Clemson/Alabama game (well, some of us watched and some of us mostly ignored it), and I'm going to bed early so I can wake up early and get dressed for the Renfaire!