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

Poem for Sunday


Henry's Understanding
By John Berryman


He was reading late, at Richard's, down in Maine,
aged 32? Richard & Helen long in bed,
my good wife long in bed.
All I had to do was strip & get into my bed,
putting the marker in the book, & sleep,
& wake to a hot breakfast.

Off the coast was an island, P'tit Manaan,
the bluff from Richard's lawn was almost sheer.
A chill at four o'clock.
It only takes a few minutes to make a man.
A concentration upon now & here.
Suddenly, unlike Bach,

& horribly, unlike Bach, it occurred to me
that one night, instead of warm pajamas,
I'd take off all my clothes
& cross the damp cold lawn & down the bluff
into the terrible water & walk forever
under it out toward the island.

--------

From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in the Sunday Washington Post Book World, in which Hirsch describes Berryman as "one of the most idiosyncratic voices in American poetry" and claims that "no significant American poet is funnier, though the comedy is nervous and limned with sadness." Berryman mixes up highbrow and lowbrow in a manner Hirsch calls "part Shakespeare, part minstrel show, part baby talk...imagine Emily Dickinson crossed with Bessie Smith and Groucho Marx." For his own part, Berryman described his life's work as "the almost insuperable difficulty of writing high verse in a land that cared and cares so little for it."

My day was taken up with my children having friends over, cleaning stuff up in preparation for their having friends over, trying to get work done before their friends came over, trying to figure out dinner for them and the three friends who were over, having ice cream sundaes with my kids and their friends who are sleeping over, and other exciting domestic issues, so instead of news or photos you get very nearly an entire post of memes. But first, some links: scribbulus_ink has taken up blue_raven's call for a 'Horror on Snape Island' challenge, cionaudha has provided a glimpse of a Lego 'Last Supper', and Ursula K. LeGuin has posted comments in response to remarks by the director of the Earthsea miniseries. Also, I made a naughty Lupin/Snape icon which is seleneheart's fault. (ETA: screen cap in icon from Total Eclipse, contains naked David Thewlis, not work or child-safe!)

fannish5: What are your five favorite relationships in your fandom(s)?
1. Kira/Odo.
These characters loved each other. They knew each other, had seen one another at their absolute worst, had had to forgive one another for really awful things. They talked, even when it hurt, even when they knew they were saying too much. They weren't particularly attracted to each other; it was never about the flirtation, the games, it was never because she was beautiful or because he could do things with his fingers that no actual humanoid could manage, they had to get past profound differences of species and culture and how their bodies made love. They chose each other again and again. It broke my heart when, in the end, they did not choose each other once more, but they had both already shown that they loved each other enough even to know when to let each other go. I honestly can't imagine a romantic relationship I could ever adore more than this one.
2. Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin. Even without the slash. I know, I get annoyed too when people say "I don't see the need to slash these two," but in this case after 20 books I really, truly have very little need to witness any sexual connection though I will certainly enjoy it if it's there. As I read the series, I kept thinking not "I want someone to love me like these two love each other," but "I want someone to be my friend the way these two are friends to one another." It's ideal, of course, if one can have both, but over the decades I think sexual attraction waxes and wanes, whereas emotional connection like this is a very rare and wonderful thing. They learn from each other and challenge each other and save each other in pretty much every way possible.
3. Kirk/Spock. To some extent what I said above applies to them too; but there is also a strong erotic charge there of an entirely different order, sort of grand and diffuse in Kirk, repressed and simmering in Spock, and it affects their interactions whether they're arguing about the best way to defuse a crisis on some planet or putting their heads together to get out of a scientific jam. Gene Roddenberry himself supposedly wrote the th'y'la scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, in which Spock admits he loves Kirk so much that he must banish him entirely from his consciousness before he can attempt to achieve pure logic. They save each other many times over the course of their careers together, but Kirk saves Spock in the most important way: he makes him be who he is, even if it's not who he always wants to be.
4. Janeway/Chakotay. Forget, for a moment, the last four or five years of Voyager. Remember when Janeway was a woman of the 24th century, a woman who could truly have had it all -- the career she always wanted, the loyalty of the people working under her without taking away their ability to speak frankly, a sense of wonder, a sense of humor, and enough belief in herself to be certain that she would get them home no matter what happened, with that optimism conveying to all of them? And remember when Chakotay was a man of the 24th century, who didn't need any macho shit or even Maquis rebelliousness to be strong, who had little trouble reconciling his spirituality and his scientific knowledge, who understood that he had been given a second chance and did not intend to screw it up through arrogance or anger or boredom? Remember how those people looked at each other in the cargo bay scene in "The 37s"? I can still get chills, now, if I can forget everything that came in between and just remember that.
5. Aragorn/Boromir. Yes, I know I've written both of them with other people (*cough*Faramir*cough*) and in some ways I think they are better friends and probably lovers to other people. But they challenge and take apart and put together and complete each other in a way I don't think any other two characters in the trilogy do (and I'm speaking movieverse here, primarily; maybe if I had SEEN Faramir's scenes from ROTK, I'd feel differently). Boromir more than anyone else makes Aragorn the King he needs to become at the moment he needs to become it, and tragic as it is that Aragorn can't save him, even that, I think, was necessary. I would not change the way their story ended.

thefridayfive:
1. If you were a shoe, what would you look like?
Clunky, rubber-soled, lined with something soft...very comfortable, not in the least fashionable, but probably with some obnoxiously colorful streak on the outside.
2. If you were a t-shirt, what would you say? "Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace." By Amelia Earhart -- look, it's on my icon.
3. If your house caught on fire and was burning to the ground...what is the one thing you'd save and why? Assuming that my spouse, children and pets were already out safely...this computer, or at least the CD-Rs with my most recent backup. Everything I've written, my photos, my dreams...they're all here.
4. If you were a book...would you read yourself? I'd probably be bored if it was all factual, but if my fantasy life were included, I think I'd get through it. *G*
5. If you could do anything at all (without consequences), what would you do? Travel for the rest of my life. Not continuously; my first answer was "travel around the world," but I don't really want to do it that way, I want to go places and then come home for awhile and regroup and think and figure out how it had changed me before going to the next place.

From all over, The Journal Names Meme:
My journal title is: Your Cruise Director's Log. This is directly related to my username, operating on the assumption that if the captain and other officers of a ship keep logs, the cruise director should keep one as well.
My subtitle is: "The Love Boat Soon Will Be Making Another Run." This is a line from The Love Boat theme song, whose full lyrics can be found trailing down the left-hand sidebar of my journal.
My friends-page is called: Love Boat Passengers. Because if I am the Cruise Director, it is my job to keep you busy, is it not? Are you not entertained? *g*
My username is: cruisedirector. Long ago in Star Trek fandom, I was in one of those fannish groups that created a virtual "ship's crew" for a starship in which people took on the positions of captain, first officer, ship's counselor, etc., and I said that if I had to have an actual job besides Captain's Yeoman, I wanted to be like Julie on The Love Boat and plan the entertainment. I signed my ancient AOL posts "Michelle, Your Cruise Director," and I posted all my fanfic on a.s.f.s and a.s.c. as "Your Cruise Director." I have kept the name ever since because sometimes someone from ten years ago finds me because of it and that makes me very, very happy.
My default icon is: My smaller cat being pesked by my younger son's wristbands. I am very fickle with default icons and change them every couple of weeks at least. However, I am very loyal to icon keywords.
My LJ name is: Your Cruise Director, the extended form of cruisedirector.

From ozfille, my deadly sins in order of how completely I embody them:

</td>

Sloth

81%

Gluttony

75%

Pride

62%

Envy

44%

Lust

44%

Greed

25%

Wrath

6%

Seven deadly sins
created with QuizFarm.com



From rohandove, my inner princess and definitely my choice among the Disneys if I can't be Mulan:





Whats your inner princess?
LJ Username
Age
Favorite Color
Hobby
You Are:
Your prince is: sangerin
This Quiz by lolipopcandigrl - Taken 2316 Times.
</a>
New - COOL Dating Tips and Romance Advice!


And from copperbadge, musesfool, cara_chapel and others:

If there is any question you would like to ask me about any one of my fics or plans for fics, then go ahead! What I meant by a particular line, why I chose that characterisation, what I was listening to as I wrote, what crack I was taking and where you can get some...anything. Anything you might like to know about how I wrote a fic, I shall do my best to answer.
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