The Tempest: Epilogue
By William Shakespeare
Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own,
Which is most faint: now, 'tis true,
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardon'd the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free.
Robert Pinsky quoted a few lines from the above in Poet's Choice in Sunday's The Washington Post Book World, which was about the burning of books by bookseller Tom Wayne. Wayne's Kansas City store, Prospero's Books, takes its name from the protagonist of The Tempest, who destroys his book of magic at the end of the play. During the epilogue, writes Pinsky, Prospero says that "the breath and applause given by us, the audience, must retain the sweetness of the play, the contents of the book, the meaning and imagination, after the actual performance is over, or the paper has turned to pulp or smoke...books need readers, as plays need audiences...Tom Wayne grieves for the flowers that are the source. Prospero needed a book before he could decide to drown one."
We had a quiet morning -- older son slept till after 10, younger son was building something bird-related out of Legos and listening to Weird Al on his I-Cy -- and I didn't get a lot done other than planning a dream bathroom, swimming pool with grotto behind waterfall, and tropical honeymoon (*whistles and blames dementordelta*). Then we took the kids to a friend's house and drove my parents (and their five very large bags) to their airport, from which they should now be en route to Greece. I am somewhat envious but it isn't as if I could go anywhere the next two weeks even if I could afford it; we have both kids' graduations, various school picnics and performances, two all-day special field trips and the like. And both sets of grandparents will be absent, since apaulled's parents are going to L.A. to see his middle brother.
It rained pretty much all day, so even though the Montgomery County Public Library's web site continued to say that Harry and the Potters would be performing for free in Rockville Town Square in the late afternoon, we weren't sure whether to believe them, particularly since the library is closed on Sundays in the summer and we couldn't get ahold of anyone at any of the county offices to confirm that the concert was going to happen. But we had to drop the old minivan off to have its air conditioning checked/fixed, so we were five minutes away, and although the square was deserted we decided to see whether the event had been moved. Sure enough, the county had opened the library and moved the concert into a room that was much too small for a wizard rock band but it worked anyway!
As you can see from that last photo, the crowd was about 10% kids, 10% parents, and 80% teenage girls who had come from as far as New Jersey and knew all the words to the songs. My older son was rather mortified (and not mollified by having it pointed out to him that at least one teenage girl there probably thought he was hot, given that there were a couple hundred girls and only about twelve boys, most of whom were elementary school age). My younger son said that our dragging him there proved that we were total nerds -- apaulled and I were perhaps the oldest people present who did not work for the library. But incidentally, I did not have to drag my spouse to this event and in fact he was the one who discovered that Harry and the Potters were playing locally even though I'm the one who has them on my MySpace friends. The Potters -- that is, Paul and Joe DeGeorge -- are from Norwood, Massachusetts, where apaulled grew up and went to the same public high school, so this was a matter of hometown pride.