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

Poem for Saturday


When the Watchman Saw the Light
By C. P. Cavafy
Translated by Aliki Barnstone


Winter and summer the watchman sat on the roof
of the palace of the sons of Atreus and looked out. Now he tells
the joyful news. He saw a fire flare in the distance.
And he is glad, and his labor is over as well.
It is hard work night and day,
in heat or cold, to look far off
to Arachnaion for a fire. Now the desired
omen has appeared. When happiness
arrives it brings a lesser joy
than expected. Clearly,
we've gained this much: we are saved from hopes
and expectations. Many things will happen
to the Atreus dynasty. One doesn't have to be wise
to surmise this now that the watchman
has seen the light. So, no exaggeration.
The light is good, and those that will come are good.
Their words and deeds are also good.
And we hope all will go well. But
Argos can manage without the Atreus family.
Great houses are not eternal.
Of course, many will have much to say.
We'll listen. But we won't be fooled
by the Indispensable, the Only, the Great.
Some other indispensable, only, and great
is always instantly found.

--------

I had a pretty good morning reviewing "The Way To Eden", which I had assumed until I watched it again would be getting a terrible review; it's still not a good episode, but once one gets past the costumes and singing, the acting isn't bad and it tries hard to engage big issues, even if it doesn't quite manage it. No hate mail yet, which probably just means that the fanboys aren't reading me after last week!

I had a dreadful afternoon due to a problem with one of my sons' teachers that still makes me so mad even thinking about it that I'm just not going to. Lalalalalalala. Can't do a damn thing till Tuesday anyway...not that that will make me any less stressed out over the weekend, in all probability, but I'm blaming the time of month. Had dinner with my parents which was very good. Came home and did some reading on tehines -- non-liturgical Jewish prayers written in the vernacular, often Yiddish, particularly associated with women because women were not (and in certain communities still are not) encouraged to engage in midrash. Committed acts of Great Wrongness with dementordelta which would surely earn us extra years in purgatory if we believed in purgatory.


Kiwi on display at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.


This is a different subspecies, shown burrowed in its hole.


North Atlantic shorebirds.


Rainforest parrot.


And (by request of younger son, despite flashbulb reflection) penguin eggs! Top Row: Gentoo, King, Jackass. Bottom Row: Rockhopper, Adelie. This museum has a King Penguin as well.
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I saw that Steve Irwin's last special is going to air this month. That's going to be hard to watch. There was other stuff besides the adorable baby panda in Atlanta but my head is too fuzzy now to remember what. Hope everyone in the US has a nice long weekend!
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