By Jane Hirshfield
The red scarf
still hangs over the chairback.
In its folds,
like a perfume
that cannot be quite remembered,
Another by Hirshfield, because she's wonderful. I forgot to link to it at the time but The Washington Post Book World reviewed her book After in August -- here, though I am not sure the link will work if you're not signed up on the site as I am. Steven Ratiner wrote the review, in which he said, "Very quietly, Jane Hirshfield has been producing work that is earning her a place in the pantheon of those modern masters of simplicity." He noted that Hirshfield is a practicing Buddhist from northern California "but her religious discipline is rarely an overt presence in her texts...by paring down the moment to its essential elements and allowing ephemeral thoughts to be anchored within the tangible things of the world, Hirshfield comes up with poems that brilliantly portray even mundane experiences as if they were nothing short of revelation."
Of "Red Scarf, Ratiner wrote, "That the scarf 'still' hangs over the chair makes us privy to a passage of time, a certain intimacy, the utter daily-ness of even the dearest relationships. Who laid it there, after a long day, intending to tidy up later when time allowed? And who voices the poem's two simple observations, all while leaving the depths of emotion unrevealed? Why can't she bring herself to put away the errant scarf, to restore the household to its proper order? That "inconceivable before" gradually solidifies in our consciousness until it becomes an irrevocable border; beyond it remain those old days of normality that, as is often the case, only convey how loved they were through their absence. The elegiac spirit of the poem is quietly reinforced in even the smallest elements; and though the aural quality of the poem is subdued, listen to the interplay between the soft burr of the abundant r's set against the hard-edged limitation of the c's. Even before the mind comprehends, the ear responds to that muted tug-of-war between longing and the acceptance of loss."
Woke up with a headache that I am convinced stems from a combination of the time of the month and the front that's slowly moving in, trailing rain across the midwest at the moment. I was really slow and sluggish today as a result, got some more reorganizing done but you'd never believe it if you didn't know how things looked in the first place and no one but me will care that all the biographies of C.S. Lewis are now with the Narnia books and Llewellyn's Wheel of the Year books are now upstairs with my Book of Shadows instead of down the basement with the books on how to throw wizard parties for kids. Yes, I realize these are dorky priorities. *g*
While I'm discussing my acquisitive spirit, I had a very good day so far as CBS-Paramount is concerned: they sent me Star Trek: The Complete Animated Series on DVD, mentioned that it was likely that George Takei would be doing interviews in connection to the DVD release at the end of the week and would TrekToday be interested in speaking with him, and when I said to the PR contact that I had been hoping Brent Spiner and/or Brannon Braga would talk to us when Threshold came out on DVD but didn't know who to contact, she offered to send along the Threshold screener DVDs as well, so now I can watch Heroes on the big TV again because I don't need to be burning Threshold off Sci-Fi on Mondays. Whoo! And speaking of Heroes, TV Guide says that Christopher Eccleston is guest starring later in the season! Which probably means the Sean Bean rumor was just that and someone mixed up their Northern actors, but I am very excited anyway because I miss my Ninth Doctor!
Again speaking of the spirit of acquisitiveness, CBS and squee, CBS News has photos of the "white carpet" premiere for Happy Feet, which includes live African penguins as well as Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, et al, plus actors not in the film like Jeri Ryan. Not as cute as Jason Isaacs with a penguin, but then, few things are. (Have posted a pic to penguinpics if you would rather look there than struggle with CBS's pictures.)
Anyway, the acquisitive aspect: apaulled went looking for the Nintendo Happy Feet game for younger son. We had received a coupon for $5 off the game at Best Buy when we bought a Burger King happy meal toy, but our nearest Best Buy store still didn't have the game on the shelf at lunchtime Wednesday (officially, it came out Tuesday). So he checked K-mart, which not only had the game but was giving out little stuffed Mumble penguins with it -- a store exclusive. So if you're going to get that game, you may either want to get a toy at Burger King for the Best Buy coupon, or you may want to go to K-mart to get the free stuffed penguin! Either way, the game comes with a coupon for a free movie ticket.
One more fall-on-the-farm photo, before winter sets in: a tractor on the Eastern Shore concluding the harvest.
apaulled was uneasy to find a small tent city set up in front of Best Buy...turns out it's for the PS3, which comes out on Friday, but we imagine things may be similarly overwrought for the Wii on Sunday. While he was out acquiring video games, I also suggested strongly that he pick up The Da Vinci Code on DVD, and my subliminal (heh) messages must have worked because he came home with it. We watched the first half this evening, then agreed to stop because the kids had to go to bed and we said we'd watch the rest tomorrow, but it was enough to make me realize that my first instinct holds true and I really do like this movie even though I think it's not a terrific adaptation of the book and I think the book is not a terrific rewriting of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (yes, I know he won the suit, but please). It would be worth owning just for two lines of Ian McKellen's: "As long as there has been one true God, there has been killing in His name," when Sophie is unhappy that Leigh and Robert are yelling at each other over whether or not Jesus was divine; and concerning the blade symbol on military uniforms, "The more penises you have, the higher your rank." How true, and hee! Also, naked Paul Bettany arse. In fact that is just about the only part of his body I can look at in the self-flagellation scene, because what Silas has done to himself is so grotesque...maybe the director intended it that way.
And when it comes to possible alternative Jesus studies, I was highly amused by this MSNBC article, "Toilet tied to tale of Dead Sea Scrolls", which quoted Josephus as saying that the Essenes refused to "go to stool" on the Sabbath, possibly because the latrine was farther away than Jews were allowed to travel. You're not allowed to move your bowels on the Sabbath?! This rates even higher than Biblical sexual taboos and somewhere near alleged Opus Dei self-flagellation on my personal list of why tradition-for-tradition's-sake religious customs are insane! And speaking of self-flagellation, we have finished watching the end of the Mud Bowl -- Miami of Ohio vs. Bowling Green playing football on the soggiest, dirtiest field in history -- and now have Baylor vs. Gonzaga on TV playing in a nice indoor basketball stadium. Bedtime, methinks.