By Stanley Kunitz
Before I am completely shriven
I shall reject my inch of heaven.
Cancel my eyes, and, standing, sink
Into my deepest self; there drink
Memory down. The banner of
My blood, unfurled, will not be love,
Only the pity and the pride
Of it, pinned to my open side.
When I have utterly refined
The composition of my mind,
Shaped language of my marrow till
Its forms are instant to my will,
Suffered the leaf of my heart to fall
Under the wind, and, stripping all
The tender blanket from my bone,
Rise like a skeleton in the sun,
I shall have risen to disown
The good mortality I won.
Directly risen with the stain
Of life upon my crested brain,
Which I shall shake against my ghost
To frighten him, when I am lost.
Gladly as any poison, yield
My halved conscience, brightly peeled;
Infect him, since we live but once,
With the unused evil in my bones.
I'll shed the tear of souls, the true
Sweat, Blake's intellectual dew,
Before I am resigned to slip
A dusty finger on my lip.
One more poem by Kunitz. Here is the UK Guardian's obituary.
I was mostly domestic Wednesday. Had lunch with my mother and uncle (Nordstrom Cafe is overpriced and has terrible service but their crab soup is quite good), wrote articles on Raines getting a mid-season pickup on NBC (relevant to TrekToday because Linda Park is in it, of more interest to me because Jeff Goldblum is in it) and Patrick Stewart giving away the ending of X-Men: The Last Stand (something I could not avoid in the news source, waah!) Took older son to Hebrew tutoring and saw the big groundhog that lives in the drainage ditch but when I went to take a picture, he went racing toward the trees!
After dinner we watched the History Channel's The Templar Code, a history of the Knights Templar in Europe and the Holy Land with refreshingly little Da Vinci Code tie-in till the end -- tomorrow we are getting tickets for this weekend, both kids really want to see the movie and have absorbed a lot of real history in anticipation of the fake stuff. Anyone know where I can get the Getty Images pictures of Paul Bettany and Ian McKellen at the Cannes premiere without the watermarks? *G* I see that there's now controversy about Bettany's character Silas being albino...did nobody notice this during the past three years while the book was a major international bestseller? And I am glad so many religious fanatics are making such a stink about the storyline; considering that the movie's fiction, it'll just generate more questions and controversy and curiosity about why all these people weren't screaming about Biblical inaccuracies in The Passion of the Christ.
Then apaulled and I watched Elizabeth and Essex which was on TCM. I hadn't seen it in ages and must admit that it did not hold up to memory; some of the dialogue is agonizingly bad and made HBO's recent Elizabeth I look superb by comparison. Bette Davis is excellent and Errol Flynn gives a performance so good that it's sometimes hard to believe it's him, but when they are spouting romance novel lines and Davis is doing the whole woman-vs-queen thing, it doesn't help much. Such a shame that Katharine Hepburn -- a woman born to play Elizabeth I if anyone ever was -- made her mark as Mary of Scotland instead!
My father linked me to this editorial cartoon, which cracked me up. Now I must get to bed, since older son's chorus concert is Thursday evening and we are going with some combination of grandparents!