By Stanley Plumly
The tiering up the hillside, the tearing up, too,
from so much sunlight, so much man-made beauty.
Marianna, Montale's sister, describes the family villa
as a sequence of gardens, multiples of trees,
and staircase after staircase climbing -- masses of sage,
broom, and white and yellow flax, and palms mixed in
with poplars, holly oaks, (lemons), and candle-lit magnolias,
while higher up, placed between the olives and the pears,
valerian and cyclamen -- then views of "little villages
grouped among the cliffs, hanging over the sea,"
the blue-eyed Mediterranean: all of it, to Montale,
imprisonment, a "counter-eloquence" of the mind at noon,
the sealed heart almost too deep for the sun. Summer's
language like sunlight on stone, light itself the stone.
Another by Plumly from Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World. "Paradox and the relation between enduring stone and fluid life...characterize Plumly's meditation on the great Italian modernist Eugenio Montale," writes Robert Pinsky. "The interplay between words and reality, mortal imagination and the lasting world, shimmers."
I believe I am being given a message from some higher power about my internet addiction, or else being tested on my dedication, because yet AGAIN we had a crisis...this time it was a Comcast outage across our entire county that affected cable television as well as cable internet...it kept some people from the Redskins game, so I can only imagine the level of screaming at headquarters. So even the one remaining working computer in the house and apaulled's work computer had no access, and I was cranky indeed.
Since I couldn't get any work done while Adam was at Hebrew school, we went out after lunch. The kids wanted to play with Daniel's best friend, so we dropped them off, briefly contemplated going to the movies to beat the heat, and ended up at Great Falls where it was actually breezier than yesterday and quite green despite the area being on the verge of a draught. The river itself is very low, and there were a group of kayakers taking turns going down rapids that are usually impossible to navigate due to underwater rocks; now the rocks are all exposed. We saw a huge turtle on a rock in the canal, but only one great blue heron; they must be looking for better fishing.
The Redskins looked so terrible in pre-season that we had not made watching the game a priority, so after walking around at the falls, we stopped at the Bethesda Co-op for maple syrup and organic oatmeal and at Rite-Aid...it was 10-10 when we left Great Falls, 13-13 when we got home, and we got to see the overtime win over the Dolphins and I got a bit excited in spite of everything. Then we watched a bit of the Chargers-Bears and the New England games, and now Dallas is regrettably beating the Giants in a game with a very high total score. Ahh, football season...just as long as I'm not stuck in the house all day with the TV on!