Springtime Comes to the Capitol
By Kevin Young
The Revolution's Step-Daughters
will not let
Marian Anderson clear
her brown throat
onstage, among the blinding lights
of Constitution Hall --
it will take a First Lady to invite
Anderson to thrill
a throng at Lincoln's stone feet.
(In the wings, Anderson trills
of practice drills.)
Like sky her throat is clear.
folks stop to hear her
voice's bright thunder --
Git all board, little chillen
Dere's' room for many -- mo'
bringing springtime to the streets
Benjamin Banneker helped sow:
The podium a bouquet
of microphones --
This bloom that begins
all along the spine.
From last Sunday's Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World. "At Easter time 68 years ago -- that is, within living memory -- the Daughters of the American Revolution denied permission for the black contralto Marian Anderson to sing before an integrated Washington audience in DAR Constitution Hall," explains Robert Pinsky. "First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the organization, and in a now-legendary aftermath, Anderson instead sang an open-air recital, organized by the Department of the Interior, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. She began by singing 'America' before the very large, integrated audience."
Young's poem mentions Banneker, the son of of slaves who became an engineer and surveyed the land for Washington. "His gifts and knowledge are part of the poem's interest in technical matters," writes Pinsky. "That people stopped to hear Anderson's performance 'everywhere' is not mere hyperbole: The performance was broadcast to a large, attentive radio audience. Young's poem is partly about broadcast media: Radio, with its 'bouquet of microphones,' enabled this historic event that still blooms along some central avenue of our national imagination."
Am fully unpacked! And the laundry is finished, though not folded. And some of the mail is answered, and all the photos I intend to post for now have been reduced in size and posted, and the huge pile of paper on the kitchen table has been diminished. Otherwise, I am days behind on work and LJ comments and haven't even caught up on Boston Legal or The Tudors because I haven't folded the laundry yet! It's supposed to rain all weekend so at least maybe I'll be able to get some stuff done without spring distraction, though I took a walk today and noticed that much of the neighborhood is in bloom despite the chilly weather the past couple of days.
thefridayfive: Lurve and stuff
1. Who was your first crush? Susan from Sesame Street, I think.
2. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? There was a time I would have said extrovert without hesitation, but I think I'm less so now than I once was.
3. What is your favorite non-sexual thing you like to do with the love of your life? Travel somewhere awesome.
4. Name one quirky habit your partner does that either annoys you or makes you grin. Downloads every Grateful Dead bootleg on the internet.
5. Do you believe in monogamous relationships? Like, do I believe they exist? Yes. Do I believe they work? Also yes. Do I believe they're the only way? Not for everyone.
fridayfiver: Another social casualty
1. What have you said lately that has gotten you into trouble? That fandom would rather have an argument than a blow job.
2. When is the last time you censored yourself? At dinner with my parents earlier.
3. Describe your last date: Quick and furtive before the kids woke up.
4. Go to the closest window -- what do you see? It's pretty dark but I can see that the deck still needs repairing.
5. What's your favorite board game? Scrabble.
fannish5: What 5 characters would you like to be stranded on a desert island with?
1. Jack Aubrey. He's easy to seduce and he'd figure out a way to get us off the island using palm fronds if necessary.
2. James T. Kirk. Ditto, only twice as fast.
3. Richard Sharpe. Probably not nearly as fast, which would be a good thing.
4. The Tenth Doctor. Because I have complete confidence that he'd get the TARDIS to show up after our idyllic sojourn.
5. Alan Rickman. Shut up, it's my fantasy.
hp_fridayfive: For each pairing, chose who you think would win in a fight. If you'd like, explain how you chose the victor.
1."Batshit" Bellatrix LeStrange vs. Narcissa "Not a Sissy" Malfoy: Bellatrix. Narcissa's her sister; Bella knows all her weaknesses. Heck, I'm not Narcissa's sister and I know a lot of them.
2. Remus "Moony" Lupin vs. Fenrir "Will Eat Your Children" Greyback: Sorry, Remus, but I think Fenrir would eat you alive.
3. Gilderoy "Blonde Ambition" Lockhart vs Ludo "The Wasp" Bagman: Have to go with Bagman; Lockhart would stop to fix his hair.
4. Severus "Don't Call me Snivellus" Snape vs "Seriously" Sirius Black: If Bella could kill Sirius, then Snape could kill Sirius. I am seriously glad it never came to that.
5. Neville "Stubefy" Longbottom vs Peter "Pathetically Pitiful" Pettigrew: By the "Stubefy" era, definitely Neville. As second-years, not sure.
Parts of the first Harry Potter movie were filmed in this area, like the troll sequence.
Look at the architecture behind Snape in the picture above...it's this room.
And Harry, Ron and Hermione were here.
The remains of religious paintings can be seen on some of the walls.
There are many gargoyles and carvings on the ceilings.
Fox Talbot, one of the abbey's later owners, invented the photographic negative.
It's supposed to rain all through the cherry blossom festival this weekend, and apparently most of the flowers are already gone. Ah well, we shall have to walk the monuments on a less crowded weekend!