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

Poem for Saturday


The Cumberland
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


At anchor in Hampton Roads we lay,
  On board of the Cumberland, sloop-of-war;
And at times from the fortress across the bay
    The alarum of drums swept past,
    Or a bugle blast
  From the camp on the shore.
  
Then far away to the south uprose
  A little feather of snow-white smoke,
And we knew that the iron ship of our foes
    Was steadily steering its course
    To try the force
  Of our ribs of oak.
  
Down upon us heavily runs,
  Silent and sullen, the floating fort;
Then comes a puff of smoke from her guns,
    And leaps the terrible death,
    With fiery breath,
  From each open port.
  
We are not idle, but send her straight
  Defiance back in a full broadside!
As hail rebounds from a roof of slate,
    Rebounds our heavier hail
    From each iron scale
  Of the monster's hide.
  
"Strike your flag!" the rebel cries,
  In his arrogant old plantation strain.
"Never!" our gallant Morris replies;
    "It is better to sink than to yield!"
    And the whole air pealed
  With the cheers of our men.
  
Then, like a kraken huge and black,
  She crushed our ribs in her iron grasp!
Down went the Cumberland all a wrack,
    With a sudden shudder of death,
    And the cannon's breath
  For her dying gasp.
  
Next morn, as the sun rose over the bay,
  Still floated our flag at the mainmast head.
Lord, how beautiful was Thy day!
    Every waft of the air
    Was a whisper of prayer,
  Or a dirge for the dead.
  
Ho! brave hearts that went down in the seas!
  Ye are at peace in the troubled stream;
Ho! brave land! with hearts like these,
    Thy flag, that is rent in twain,
    Shall be one again,
  And without a seam!

--------

Friday, because I went to bed too late and I got up too early, I had one of those days where I felt like I wasn't completely awake, and I had to write a review, so I took a couple of Excedrin in case my brain cloud decided to coalesce into a headache, which then made me jittery all afternoon while I was trying to write a coherent and not-too-excessively-slashy review of "This Side Of Paradise", so then this evening I indulged in some thin mint liqueur to see if that counteracted the jitters, which it did, so now I am all buzzed and mellow and goofy... *g*

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch sduty at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are. The olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist andd lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh, and I awlyas thghout slpeling was ipmorantt.

My mother passed that along and it really made me smile. Is it true for everyone, and would it be true of any paragraph? It was completely clear to me on first reading. I am one of those people who does not get the hysteria over typos in fan fiction -- typos happen, and anyone who has ever had to read a Pocket Books movie tie-in or Star Trek novel can tell you that even in professional novels they happen again and again without careful proofreading, and they just do not bother me. Extraordinarily bad grammar bothers me: people who simply cannot understand subject-verb agreement, or cannot be bothered to understand the difference between the use of a fragment for stylistic purposes versus just not getting that most sentences need a verb, but even there is has to be egregious and repeated (as I was explaining to ldybastet, whose first language is not English, and cara_chapel, who has taught English far more recently than myself, I often get "corrected" by betas when I use the subjunctive tense correctly, but I have to resort to discussing French si clauses to explain why, and even then I am not sure it's worth worrying about). I know people sometimes post when they're too tired to see straight (or not entirely sober, heh) and it has never upset me, and it has interested me how much it upsets other people. It is difficult to understand or is it just the sloppiness with the language?

Had dinner with aforementioned mother and father, but otherwise my only major outing was to pick up older son from the bus and take both kids to a friend's house after school. Apparently Omar refuses to play over here anymore because I always make them go outside and get exercise! If I were his mother I would FORCE him to play over here for that reason but she works long hours and apparently just does not worry about it. I was just happy that my kids did not eat tons of Doritos as they sometimes do if I don't read them the riot act before they go over there. Parents brought me back very pretty silver and lapis earrings from Arizona, brought the kids Kokopelli pens and decks of cards, brought hubby chocolate, I definitely got the best of this deal and I didn't even bring their newspapers in because a neighbor beat me to it. Watched Threshold this evening, loved the religious use of alien revelation -- I always enjoyed those stories on The X-Files, where Scully's Catholicism and wanting to believe in that way came up against Mulder's relentlessly scientific wanting to believe in extraterrestrials -- and always love Gugino and Spiner. Plus the scripts are getting a little tighter. The show's on the fence, off the air for the next couple of weeks while CBS tries to bolster its Friday night sweeps ratings, haven't heard how it's doing overseas yet...I hope it survives till the end of the season at least.


My kids climbing on the boulders halfway up the slope to the teahouse atop Catoctin Mountain at Gambrill State Park.


The teahouse itself around the boulders.


Here are the kids hanging from the swings at High Knob.


And this is what the city of Frederick looks like from the overlook high above.
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Fiver memes didn't inspire me this week -- people don't need to know my area code or my shoe size, I don't know what I'm insecure about that I haven't already blathered about in here at some point, and there really aren't any fannish characters I want to punch in the face because that's not my style. Saturday is younger son's last soccer game for the season, to be followed by ice cream party. The weather is supposed to be magnificent. I love it when that happens.
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