From 'The Prelude, Book I'
By William Wordsworth
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle; with the din
Smitten, the precipices rang aloud;
The leafless trees and every icy crag
Tinkled like iron; while far distant hills
Into the tumult sent an alien sound
Of melancholy not unnoticed, while the stars
Eastward were sparkling clear, and in the west
The orange sky of evening died away.
Another from Robert Pinsky in yesterday's Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World. "More than a metaphor or an image, not figurative but literal, the flash of a recalled minute tells the essential story. These 'spots of time,' as William Wordsworth called them, nourish the mind by embodying and recalling a step in its development," Pinsky writes. "One example is Wordsworth's ice-skating scene from "The Prelude," Book I...Wordsworth's genius inheres exactly in the invisible vibrations between people and landscape, and in the exciting distance between the two. This moment is a defining instance of perception."
It started snowing before younger son arrived home from Hebrew school, so we stayed close to home...went to the mall briefly so the kids could get Madden football for the Wii (on the theory that it has to be better for them to play a VR football game than spend the entire afternoon watching the NFL playoffs) and found myself a camera bag at Ritz Camera, then came home and ate nachos and cheese while watching the Bears-Saints game (older son rooting for the Bears since he was born in Chicago, the rest of us rooting for the Saints because New Orleans could have used the publicity a Superbowl appearance would have brought the still-neglected city). The kids were already losing interest in football by the time the Patriots-Colts game started -- they had a friend over who was very impressed with the Madden game -- and though we were unanimous in rooting for New England, we had turned off the game by 8 and missed Patriots self-destructing, which is probably just as well.
A robin, confused about which season it is.
My poor daffodils -- will they bloom when it is properly spring?
Not much collected on the cars or street, but we got about an inch on the grass and deck.
Not enough to sled in daylight hours but if the temperature stays below freezing, there will be tomorrow.
Another confused bird in our neighbor's berry-filled tree, a very popular spot today.
We had a very busy TV night with many conflicting interests -- football, Steve Irwin, Rome, Battlestar Galactica, The Dresden Files, Masterpiece Theatre...decided that I really did not have to do the virtuous thing and watch the
I love Rome so much...the way the Jews and the politics of Jerusalem get brought in! And how Antony doesn't just fall for Cleopatra like the romantic cliche but there are so many personal and political issues pressing on him. Vorenus is a bit over the top being a son of Hades and not believing the gods can hurt him any more, but then, he's utterly devastated -- "I have caused the death of my wife, I have caused the death of my children, I have caused the death of Caesar" -- and being handed control of the Roman underworld formerly dominated by his children's killer (who isn't, because they're still alive, which I was so sure of because Vorenus' arc toward redemption requires that he reconcile with his wife's son before he dies!) I thought Antony was just lying to Atia when he said he found the Egyptian girl a skinny thing but he really seems uninterested in helping her and her son until he gets fed up with Atia and HER son...and ooh does Octavian rock with his plan to provide new leadership and manipulating money, even if he seriously misjudges Antony's temper! It's funny watching this and knowing which woman Antony ultimately chooses to support, now when their similarities are so much more obvious than their differences...Cleopatra may be younger but I don't think she's anywhere near as attractive as Atia, and she may be a queen but she's not as clever either. Meanwhile Servilia is realizing that she has no secure allies and no one will stick his neck out for Brutus...I kind of wish she and Atia could end up allies versus Antony, though as if! (Antony's telling Atia "I never touched that woman" made apaulled and I both recite together, "I did not have sex with that woman!")
And I was ready to hate Galactica after all the producers' bragging about all the people they're going to kill off over the course of the rest of the season -- I will never trust MooreRon again, not since DS9 -- but that was a fantastic episode! As much as I hated the faux Kara motherhood storyline, I found Sharon's decision to die and download totally convincing -- unlike Starbuck, Sharon's identity is entirely wrapped up in her motherhood, given who she is and her absolutely unique position among the humans. The scene where she begs for death is so powerful, as is the one where she's trying to figure out the balance between trying to lie to the Cylons and trying to convince them to help her (and the other Number Eight's jealousy and hatred of the baby is so well done). The very best moments in that storyline, though, were during Karl's confrontation with Laura Roslin which she so had coming after blaming him for his wife "leaving". I just can't get into the Starbuck-Apollo-spouses quadrangle (I wish Kara did not leave me cold, she's so screwed up and selfish and I just can't like her), but I enjoyed the scenes with the two women trying to get off the ground with Kara shot up on painkillers...and the weird irony of all the couples reuniting on Galactica with all their dysfunctions.
The Dresden Files had a lot to live up to after those shows, and didn't quite manage it...I adore Terrence Mann from Broadway, I saw him in both Cats and Les Miz, but he seemed really over the top as the over-the-top written Bob, and the flashbacks seemed almost cartoony in their theatrics. I love film noir and I sometimes like supernatural fiction but the blend left them both a little watered down here. There was some fun dialogue -- "For the most part, monsters don't exist" -- but I am reserving judgment on the series as a whole, though Paul Blackthorne makes it entertaining. Sunday nights are just too crowded as it is!
How did I not know about the Harry Potter and Torah blog? (Discovered because Aish.com reprinted "Harry Potter and the Children of Ketura" -- "Did Jewish mystical books inspire the Sorcerer's Stone legend?"). Aish is in a very Harry Potter mood this week, as it also has an editorial on Rowling's spiritual obligation to give the series a happy ending...which I note does not mean that Harry must survive. Anyway, the article on the Kabbalah and non-Jewish magic is a lot more interesting. Hee, sometimes I need reminders why I love Aish because their Middle East politics drive me mad!
Hillary...was I supposed to be surprised after she put together the committee to look into the possibility? I just want a Democrat who can win. If that's her, great.