By Donald Hall
I let her garden go.
let it go, let it go
How can I watch the hummingbird
Hover to sip
With its beak's tip
The purple bee balm—whirring as we heard
It years ago?
The weeds rise rank and thick
let it go, let it go
Where annuals grew and burdock grows,
Where standing she
At once could see
The peony, the lily, and the rose
Rise over brick
She'd laid in patterns. Moss
let it go, let it go
Turns the bricks green, softening them
By the gray rocks
That lofted while she lived, stem by tall stem,
Dwindle in loss.
The Washington Post had an article about the U.S. and British poet laureates doing a reading at the Library of Congress. British poet laureate Andrew Motion said he didn't think the Queen knew he was there at the same time she was, but because of his work on the Poetry Archive in Britain, he was interested in bringing in Americans by doing readings with American poet laureate Donald Hall. They talked about the way Americans embraced Modernism versus the British, who did not so much (though Motion believes that Bob Dylan is the greatest living poet). Hall read poems about his late wife Jane Kenyon, who died of leukemia, including "Her Garden," which he said he wrote in stanza form "because of my extreme love of the poetry of Thomas Hardy."
My excitement Friday started bright and early when younger son called home from the school office in a panic, having left on the living room table a school paper that was due. So I went over there before 9, dropped it off, came home to have breakfast, opened the refrigerator and discovered a lunch in there with younger son's name on it...rushed out again, only to discover it was the lunch apaulled made for him the day of his orthodontist appointment when he had a bracket reglued and was ordered not to eat anything that wasn't soft. Sigh. Met my mother for lunch at the mall, went shopping for teachers' presents for school, Hebrew school, violin, etc. since the end of school year is approaching fast, ate Thai chicken salad with ginger sesame dressing.
The kids wanted to go to a friend's house after school -- Friday being the first day of video games for the weekend -- so I took them. Then I wrote a review of "Haven" that I fear did not really do justice to the pleasures of the episode, and site columns including my new favorite poll of the year, based on an interview in which J.J. Abrams was asked whether he'd consider casting his Felicity star in his next project: "If Keri Russell doesn't play a female Klingon in 'Star Trek XI', who would you like to see do so?" When I last checked, Lucy Lawless was solidly in first place, but William Shatner was way ahead of Gillian Anderson, Liv Tyler, Kirsten Dunst, Lindsay Lohan and Katie Holmes.
Had dinner with my parents at the Red Dog Cafe, which was excellent -- I had the salmon but nearly everyone else had their excellent macaroni and cheese -- though I thought there might be a meltdown (on the part of the adults!) about where to go. We are going out with them again Sunday for Mother's Day at a place yet to be determined, but you can be sure I won't get to cast the deciding vote! The Red Dog Cafe is right next door to the Silver Spring Co-op, so I have good cereal for breakfast too, and amber scented oil which is a necessity for me in summer.
fridayfiver: Funky funky club on Fairfax Avenue
1. What do you obsess about? Really trivial things, in the grand scheme, except when it's the really big things I can't do anything about anyway.
2. What do you do for a living? Write a lot of blather and raise children.
3. Where do you call home? The scenic suburbs of Washington, DC.
4. Have you lived up to your parents' expectations? Oh, god, not even close! With the exception of having given them grandchildren and being on reasonably good terms with them, I have not done any of the things they hoped/wished for from me.
5. Are we more likely to find you in a coffee bar or a nightclub? Coffee shop attached to a bookstore.
thefridayfive: Darkness and Demons
1. If you were a nocturnal animal, what nocturnal animal would you be? A cat. The kind that prowls across people's beds in the middle of the night purring loudly in hope of being fed.
2. Which is better: to obey the law to avoid punishment, to obey the law because the law makes sense, or to obey the law because everyone should? One rather hopes the law makes sense. When it doesn't, or when it has been modified or stretched in some way that is extreme, such as where free speech is concerned (or, for a more mundane example, the excesses of the RIAA), I have little issue with people stretching their interpretations of the law right back.
3. Who is your favorite all time movie villain? Alan Alda as Lester in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. Or is Martin Landau the villain? I like it when it's hard to tell.
4. Are any kind of ethics involved in wearing a hat? As in, don't use a ski mask as a disguise during a bank robbery and don't wear a big feather hat to the theater because the people behind you won't be able to see? I don't think I understand this question!
5. When is the best time for you to take a 20 minute nap? Why? Either right after younger son leaves for school in the morning or right after apaulled gets home in the evening, in both cases because I have no kids demanding me right that second and work can be postponed or should be finished.
fannish5: What five unexplained mysteries or questions raised by canon do you most wish you knew the answer to?
1. VR5: This series never had an ending! How does Sydney get out of virtual reality? What did her mother know about her father's work? There are a million unanswered questions!
2. The Prestige: Without giving away the ending, I have the same dilemma as Angier about whether the real Angier is the man in the box or the man accepting the applause. Everything about Tesla's machine makes me shiver.
3. Voyager: The temporal conundrum of "The Year of Hell." Though really I might add all the Star Trek time travel/time change stories. To quote Janeway, "The future's the past, the past is the future...it all gives me a headache."
4. The X-Files: So if Scully's never supposed to die, and the aliens are coming back in a few years when the Mayan calendar runs out...you know, I could be listing my issues with The X-Files forever. Let's just let that one be.
5. Harry Potter: Snaaaaaape. Though if Deathly Hallows turns out to be lame so far as he's concerned, I reserve the right to say I wish this had remained a mystery forever.
hp_fridayfive: A Few Favorites
1. Which is your favorite Triwizard Task? The last one would have been, if it hadn't turned out so badly, because it's the only one where it isn't a contest to see who can cheat the best, rig the game the most easily, or get the most advice from other people. It was never a very fair test of an individual wizard's skills, and although Fleur seemed to be punished for not being much of a team player, Krum didn't.
2. What's your favorite HP reference in another fandom? Doctor Who's recent "Shakespeare Code" wins this hands-down.
3. Which HP were/are you most like as a teenager? I'm tempted to say Hermione without the cool famous friends, but although I was bookish, I'm afraid I was probably more like Luna.
4. Which would you rather have: a niffler or a Pygmy Puff? Definitely a pygmy puff...I don't want my house torn apart by a creature looking for nonexistent valuables!
5. You have enough Polyjuice Potion to last one day: who do you choose to morph into? That depends in very large part on whether anyone I know has Polyjuice Potion at the same time and whether we're going to do it together.
Came home and watched two episodes of Torchwood, both of which were wonderfully acted and interesting but I really feel like there's far more gore than necessary, and I want to know where Jack's sense of humor went between Doctor Who and some of these episodes...also, not that I'm complaining that apparently everyone is bisexual, but I find it sort of hard to believe that all of them are as promiscuous as they seem to be just from a handful of episodes. Fine, go ahead and tell me that's a judgmental term, but in an era of AIDS and HPV, I find it a bit distracting how quickly people change orientation under alien influence and then jump into bed with someone new.
A last azalea photo, because the fact that this shade of pink exists in nature is a constant wonder to me.
A big bullfrog in the lake at Montgomery Village.
Honeysuckle, this week's contribution to the neighborhood spring.