Three Sorts of Serpents Do Resemble Thee
By Michael Drayton
Three sorts of serpents do resemble thee:
That dangerous eye-killing cockatrice,
The enchanting siren, which doth so entice,
The weeping crocodile -- these vile pernicious three.
The basilisk his nature takes from thee,
Who for my life in secret wait dost lie,
And to my heart sendst poison from thine eye:
Thus do I feel the pain, the cause, yet cannot see.
Fair-maid no more, but Mer-maid be thy name,
Who with thy sweet alluring harmony
Hast played the thief, and stolen my heart from me,
And like a tyrant makst my grief thy game:
Thou crocodile, who when thou hast me slain,
Lamentst my death, with tears of thy disdain.
Another from Poet's Choice in yesterday's Washington Post Book World, "another poem involving myth, fantasy and aggression (and a crocodile rather than an alligator), a love-sonnet by Shakespeare's contemporary," Robert Pinsky writes. "Art's reassurance is not in being nice, but in accepting what is not so nice in us. The slaying and death of Drayton's couplet...are pure fantasy -- they mean that he is in love, and that it hurts because all is not going perfectly. That is the sharp, fantastical, comical action of the imagination, straddling the gulf between perfection and reality."
Sunday started quietly because the kids had Hebrew school, and immediately afterward younger son was driven from the suburban center to the synagogue downtown for a yo-yo demonstration with the youth group while older son went straight to a friend's house. I fiddled with photos (am trying to figure out this technique described in Outdoor Photographer for bringing contrast into a rather gray original), wrote news bullets and an article on Alfre Woodard's TV movie that was on tonight (and skipped by me because
I also watched the beginning of the Screen Actors Guild Awards and then caught the rest on the repeat on TNT. So I got the thrill of seeing Barbara Bain presenting with Peter Graves even though their cue cards weren't working, and Dominic Monaghan demonstrating that he will kiss any man on the lips at the slightest provocation (I don't watch Lost so I'm not even sure who the recipient was -- Naveen Whatshisname?), William Shatner introducing the history of actors in commercials and the beginning of the interminable tribute to Shirley Temple. Sandra Oh's victory speech rocked -- she thanked the casting director of Grey's Anatomy for the diversity in her casting choices and encouraged Asian-American actors to keep at it -- and wow, Rachel Weisz is now the Oscar front-runner in the supporting actress category, and I was delighted that Felicity Huffman beat Mary-Louise Parker for TV since I suspect she'll lose the Best Actress Oscar to Reese Witherspoon, which really is all right with me. (And it was nice to see all the other housewives hugging her...it was a dilemma night for Alfre Woodard fans, I guess, since she was live at the awards and in The Water Is Wide and in a DH rerun!)
I saw Sean Hayes beat Shatner and Spader on tape delay, which only made me momentarily sad because he rocks and I howled at his speech thanking Ang Lee for taking a chance on him since everyone knows it's such a risk to play a gay character. If Spader beat Shatner, I'd worry about Shatner's ego! I was very sorry the Boston Legal cast didn't win the best comedy ensemble award, though. I also saw delayed that Phillip Seymour Hoffman has won the best actor award...I love him and it's not like a victory for him takes anything away from gay characters but I am still pulling for Heath Ledger at the Oscars. And Paul Giamatti won best supporting actor award for Cinderella Man, though he thanked actors he met around the food services table and didn't mention anyone actually in that film with him...weird! I didn't see Crash but I suppose I had better, since it keeps winning awards and since Marina Sirtis is in it. (And speaking of Trek people, I hadn't really put together how many had died last year until the tribute...James Doohan, Brock Peters, Frank Gorshin, John Fiedler, Vincent Schiavelli...must've been weird to be Shatner watching all that.)
In between the articles and the nighttime TV, we took the kids to the Lunar New Year celebration at Lakeforest Mall. There were lots of local groups and performers all day -- we saw folk dancing, juggling, martial artists, a pantomime with giant dragon costumes and some fashion presentations. There were also bonsai and flowers on display, photographs of China and paintings by local artists. Happy New Year, those who celebrate! Here are a few photos:
Now we are watching the Spanish Armada on Battlefield Britain, which is very cool. I didn't know the British stiffed their own sailors and left them on their ships to die of dysentery! And Drake and Howard paid them out of their own pockets. Glad there were some actual heroes.