By Robert Pinsky
Air an instrument of the tongue,
The tongue an instrument
Of the body. The body
An instrument of spirit,
The spirit a being of the air.
The bird a medium of song.
Song a microcosm, a containment
Like the fresh hotel room, ready
For each new visitor to inherit
A little world of time there.
In the Cornell box, among
Ephemera as its element,
The preserved bird -- a study
In spontaneous elegy, the parrot
Art, mortal in its cornered sphere.
Another by Pinsky quoted by Edward Hirsch in Poet's Choice in yesterday's Washington Post Book World.
Today was warmer and clearer than yesterday, and we went to the Virginia side of Great Falls to hike a bit. Several of the paths and overlooks are being repaired from damage from previous storms, and we didn't make it to Matildaville, the ruins of an 18th century town that flourished along the Patowmack Canal while it was used for commerce; now, unlike the C&O Canal which is still full of water and can lift boats through the locks, only the ditches remain of the Patowmack Canal. On the way home we stopped at the Bethesda Co-op to stock up on meat-free sausages and grab some chocolate covered cherries.
Tonight we put on Breaking Up while doing various chores -- I'd forgotten how luminous Salma Hayek is in that, and Russell Crowe is adorable even though I want to smack his character about fifteen times (Salma's is unbelievably restrained, even though she's supposed to be a hard-to-live-with firebrand). I can't decide whether the ending is supposed to be hopeful or chilling, either. There's a case of two actors who have such great chemistry and generate so much energy that it's possible to overlook the weirder parts of the script; a lot of it sounds like a stage play that no one bothered to convert into the more natural language of film, which is really necessary unless the cinematography and staging of the film suggest that it's not supposed to be entirely realistic. Structurally it has a lot in common with Better Than Sex, which makes it fun to have watched it not long after.
I played a little with my new camera, though there are lots of things I haven't figured out how to do at all; it has a great many preprogrammed modes and you can override all of those, but I want to see what it can do with the point and click settings on for when we're on vacation. I love little things like the ease of turning the flash off and on and the built-in lens cover...I bought this one for convenience over sophistication! While hunting for my old camera to swipe the strap, I had an urge to take a darkroom course, but remembered how expensive it is which is why I never got very involved in photography in the first place.
I'm behind on reading my own friends list again because I was reading illuminations' earlier (and she read mine, brave woman!) -- I shall try to catch up tomorrow. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and is keeping warm!
Spray from the river, which was slightly higher than normal but only barely so as we have had no snowfall to speak of all winter.
Here's the side from which I more often take my photos of the river, the main overlook on Olmsted Island on the Maryland side of the falls.
This is the bridge we cross from the C&O Canal towpath to the island. You can see the part that's dammed from debris in the lower right.
And here's Mather Gorge from directly above, with the national park dedication plaque.