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

Poem for Tuesday


Corinna's Going A-Maying
By Robert Herrick


Get up, get up for shame, the blooming Morn
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
    See how Aurora throws her fair
    Fresh-quilted colours through the air;
    Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
    The dew bespangling herb and tree.
Each flower has wept, and bow'd toward the east,
Above an hour since; yet you not drest,
    Nay! not so much as out of bed?
    When all the birds have matins said,
    And sung their thankful hymns, 'tis sin,
    Nay, profanation, to keep in,
Whenas a thousand virgins on this day
Spring, sooner than the lark, to fetch in May.

Rise; and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green;
    And sweet as Flora. Take no care
    For jewels for your gown, or hair;
    Fear not, the leaves will strew
    Gems in abundance upon you;
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept;
    Come and receive them while the light
    Hangs on the dew-locks of the night;
    And Titan on the eastern hill
    Retires himself, or else stands still
Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying;
Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.

Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming, mark
How each field turns a street, each street a park
    Made green and trimm'd with trees; see how
    Devotion gives each house a bough
    Or branch; each porch, each door ere this
    An ark, a tabernacle is,
Made up of white-thorn, neatly interwove;
As if here were those cooler shades of love.
    Can such delights be in the street
    And open fields and we not see't?
    Come, we'll abroad; and let's obey
    The proclamation made for May,
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;
But my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.

There's not a budding boy, or girl, this day,
But is got up, and gone to bring in May.
    A deal of youth, ere this, is come
    Back, and with white-thorn laden, home.
    Some have despatch'd their cakes and cream,
    Before that we have left to dream;
And some have wept, and woo'd, and plighted troth,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth;
    Many a green-gown has been given;
    Many a kiss, both odd and even;
    Many a glance too has been sent
    From out the eye, love's firmament;
Many a jest told of the keys betraying
This night, and locks pick'd, yet we're not a-Maying.

Come, let us go, while we are in our prime;
And take the harmless folly of the time.
    We shall grow old apace, and die
    Before we know our liberty.
    Our life is short, and our days run
    As fast away as does the sun;
And as a vapour, or a drop of rain,
Once lost, can ne'er be found again,
    So when or you or I are made
    A fable, song, or fleeting shade,
    All love, all liking, all delight
    Lies drown'd with us in endless night.
Then while time serves, and we are but decaying,
Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.

--------

Another poem mentioned in this week's Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World. "Poetic wit is verbal, not anecdotal," writes Robert Pinsky, "and, when ebullient, it guides words into an expressive dance, as in Robert Herrick's line (from 'Corinna's Going a-Maying'), 'The proclamation made for May.' Herrick's maying and proclaiming and making, three distinct activities, share a single exhilaration as well as a sound. In such double or triple resemblances, wit presses hard at the surfaces of words to discover an emotional truth."

Nothing really exciting today, as I spent all morning writing up the Oscars for TrekToday (our lovely readers' commentary being not indigation that James Doohan was blown off in the memorial segment but indignation that we pointed out that Marina Sirtis was in Crash -- who's the bigger loser, suckers, the person reporting on it or the people hanging out at the TrekBBS insisting that Trek sucks) and then writing up the interview with Alice Krige to post Tuesday to coincide with the Borg Collective DVD set (what, you're not buying it? Me neither, I'm getting Goblet of Fire). Watched Rent on DVD, most of it with the kids...the usual truism that a movie is not a stage musical remains valid, but it was actually lots better than I was anticipating based on reviews I'd heard from friends, so like Phantom of the Opera I have to say that although it will not replace its original, I was very pleasantly surprised.

While I am extremely sorry that Brokeback Mountain did not win Best Picture, I have no real opinion on whether it was robbed, as many people on my friends list claim. I did not see Crash, so I have no way to assess the relative value of the movie, either in a vacuum or compared to other movies this year. But I will say that I do not believe Brokeback was "robbed" any more than at least twenty better movies I can think of that did not win Best Picture and in some cases were not nominated. Brokeback won Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, which is one more major award than Kiss of the Spider Woman got in 1986 when Spielberg's watered-down but still well-worth-seeing The Color Purple didn't even get a director nomination, and the very mediocre Out of Africa took the top prize while Ran got the director nod but not Best Picture, plus Meryl Streep -- the only really good thing in Out of Africa -- didn't win for it.

Bottom line: I think Brokeback Mountain is an excellent film, and I really wanted it to win so that it would appear in all the Oscar's Greatest anthologies and the like -- it's a kind of legitimacy to win no matter how stupid the award system itself is. But I do not understand how people have the energy to rant and rant about a mass entertainment award when there is so much serious shit going on in the world. The movie lost, bummer, but I would so much rather rant about the way actual gay people are treated than the fact that self-absorbed L.A. beautiful people voted for a self-absorbed L.A. movie.

I just had to look up 1986 Oscars because I couldn't remember to whom Streep lost (Geraldine Page in The Trip to Bountiful, one of those "Lifetime Achievement" Best Actress winners). What a year! Spider Woman, Ran, Color Purple, Witness, Brazil, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Prizzi's Honor, Agnes of God, Runaway Train, The Official Story, Jagged Edge, Murphy's Romance, Twice in a Lifetime, Mask...and even the "lighter" fare, Ladyhawke, Silverado, Cocoon, Back to the Future...it's not like Out of Africa sucked, just that, in a year with so much gold, it didn't particularly shine. 2006 faced a similar problem I think. To me Brokeback's loss wasn't like when Shakespeare in Love wound up on top of a mediocre crop in 1999 (I was rooting for Elizabeth, but it was Cate Blanchett who was robbed, not the film). I see typical Academy stupidity but I just don't see a big homophobic conspiracy in a year where Ledger, Gyllenhaal and Huffman were nominated, Hoffman won, Lee won, McMurtry and Osanna won and Capote and Brokeback were both nominated for the top award. And as with so many things, I get so sick of people attacking people who are basically on their side, just not as far to that side as one might wish, rather than attacking the things that are really messed up.

As mentioned yesterday, we went to Croydon Creek Nature Center on Sunday in the Rockville Civic Center Park. Though the discovery room activities were really geared for younger children than ours, the kids are always happy to be in a place with snakes, frogs and a variety of turtles, as well as Cosmo the screech owl.


The entrance to Croydon Creek Nature Center seen through one of the turtle tanks. Oh, and one of the turtles.


The carnivorous plant display! Because, yum, flesh!


Cosmo, a screech owl who was injured in a car accident, rehabilitated locally and determined to have too much neurological damage to survive in the wild. He was hiding in his box and peeking out when we saw him.


What's left of the foundation of a late 1800s house in the woods. There are ruins of a chicken coop nearby, too.
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They also have trails through the woods behind Glenview Mansion so we hiked down to the creek -- a rather steep dropoff -- and along the water. I needed a walk in the woods today but as younger son had Mad Science and older son had fencing, I didn't get one. Tomorrow!
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