The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
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Poem for Tuesday


Six Significant Landscapes
By Wallace Stevens


I
An old man sits
In the shadow of a pine tree
In China.
He sees larkspur,
Blue and white,
At the edge of the shadow,
Move in the wind.
His beard moves in the wind.
The pine tree moves in the wind.
Thus water flows
Over weeds.

II
The night is of the colour
Of a woman's arm:
Night, the female,
Obscure,
Fragrant and supple,
Conceals herself.
A pool shines,
Like a bracelet
Shaken in a dance.

III
I measure myself
Against a tall tree.
I find that I am much taller,
For I reach right up to the sun,
With my eye;
And I reach to the shore of the sea
With my ear.
Nevertheless, I dislike
The way ants crawl
In and out of my shadow.

IV
When my dream was near the moon,
The white folds of its gown
Filled with yellow light.
The soles of its feet
Grew red.
Its hair filled
With certain blue crystallizations
From stars,
Not far off.

V
Not all the knives of the lamp-posts,
Nor the chisels of the long streets,
Nor the mallets of the domes
And high towers,
Can carve
What one star can carve,
Shining through the grape-leaves.

VI
Rationalists, wearing square hats,
Think, in square rooms,
Looking at the floor,
Looking at the ceiling.
They confine themselves
To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids,
Cones, waving lines, ellipses --
As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon --
Rationalists would wear sombreros.

--------

Wallace Stevens is the other poet mentioned this week by Robert Pinsky in Poet's Choice, someone he considers more a poet for the ages than Edgar Guest or Joyce Kilmer. It isn't very difficult to see why!

The lovely dementordelta came to visit me! She brought DVDs for us to watch and a penguin comic book for younger son, who now adores her, and we went out for Middle Eastern food and discussed the comparative virtues of snogging scenes vs. shagging scenes on video and tried to figure out who those two middle aged wannabe wizards who left their socks on but nonetheless had really hot sex with lots of kissing and stroking in Harry Squatter and the Sorcerer's Bone were supposed to be (I think the one in the olive green pants must be a Slytherin, but Draco would never be caught dead wearing anything with those big carpenter pockets and Lucius would never be caught dead with pimples on his bum). Somewhere, we are confident, someone has done a Harry Potter porn parody with appropriate barely-legals as the students. I for one was relieved, however, that the "headmaster" in this DVD looked more like Jason Isaacs than Richard Harris!

Older son had his last fencing class of the season Monday evening. The kids have only one full day left of school for the year. Older son is not allowed to put anything in his locker starting tomorrow, so he is not bringing much with him and we are sincerely hoping he 1) turned everything in and 2) brought everything home he needed to. Younger son is likely to be in a portable classroom again next year -- a new portable classroom, since the county is replacing all the nightmarish portables currently at the school, and the teachers are being shuffled around as apparently there has been some rebellion against teaching year after year in the portables by the fifth grade teachers who've been out there for several years. Next year only one of this year's fifth grade teachers is teaching fifth grade again, which has us somewhat concerned. The county has also approved moving up the school's modernization schedule but we didn't even bother to petition the school board because it will be too late to affect our own kids and we want to make sure there's money for the middle schools if those also develop issues with their portables!


HMS Northumberland visiting Baltimore Harbor. The ship was closed to visitors on Sunday, but these sailors told us she was headed next to the Bahamas.


This is an enormous frigate launched in 1992. Here is news about her visit to Baltimore.


The ship docked at Fells Point, which is kind of ironic as the shipyards where many Baltimore clippers and Navy vessels that fought the British during the Revolution and War of 1812 were built here.


Did I mention the cute Royal Navy sailors? In shorts?
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