The English Novel
by Linda Pastan
In the English Novel, where I spent my girlhood,
I used to think chilblains were a kind of biscuit,
and everything was always pearled with fog--
the moors with their purpling heather
and the beveled windows where the heroines,
my sisters, waited for heroes
who would find them eventually, after one or both
threaded their way through some kind of moral
labyrinth, shadowed and thorny. He was worth waiting for,
and anyway the slowness of the clocks was deliberate
as if minutes, like pence, had different meanings then.
There was no polyester. Everything was brocade and velvet,
even the landscapes, those hills embroidered
with flowers, though sex was hardly mentioned
it was clearly a scent in the air like the sachets
in cupboards, subtle but pervasive as the smell
of lavender or viburnum or tallow from all the smoky,
snuffed-out candles. Furniture and forests, marriages
were eternal then, and though there was always a plot
it hardly mattered. As for too much coincidence,
doesn't the moon always wander through the sky at the exact
moment the lovers are wandering through the park, even today,
even in this city with its fake Victorian facades?
And all the familiar faces we notice at the movies
Or across a restaurant, couldn't they be our half-brothers
or cousins, lost in the deep and mysterious gene pool--
descendants, some of them, of Emma and Mr. Knightley,
or the ones with Russian faces descended from Ladislaw maybe,
who could have come from a place just a few hours by carriage
from the shtetl where my great-great-grandmother
somehow acquired her blond hair and blue blue eyes?
While looking for a very old post earlier, I rediscovered this poem, which I first posted in November 2002. I figured it was time for a rerun.
I had a very nice Friday! It was dementordelta's birthday and she stopped by with her friend Lin en route to the Pennsylvania Renfaire. We went out for Mexican food and brownies and did a little window shopping before they took off for Pennsylvania. I picked up my kids and their friends in the rain and tried to keep the noise to a dull roar while I wrote a review of "Hollow Pursuits". Then we went to my parents' for Shabbat dinner, came home and watched Stargate: Atlantis -- good Teyla episode, but I found a lot of plot points highly improbable -- and then the news, which had scary video of Hurricane Ike. Hope everyone in Texas is either hunkered down very well or, if you're coastal, evacuated somewhere safe!
Cinnamon grooming apaulled. Apparently he needs a lot of grooming, because she never does this to the rest of us.
Daisy sitting on the living room table. The other cats will only do this when the table has been cleared off but Daisy doesn't care.
A poor starving underfed Rosie has dinner...
...while Cinnamon tries to gulp hers down before Rosie can sneak in and eat it...
...and Daisy's food must be put on the kitchen table to keep the other cats from helping themselves.
I can't help but snicker when I see Rosie sleeping in a position like this.
This is, in fact, not a cat but the praying mantis that we saw this afternoon on a storefront.
thefridayfive: Morbid questions we all think about.
1. If you were to die today, what would your last words be? Ideally: "Love and peace." Probably: "Oh fuck!"
2. What would you want your epitaph to say? "We are such stuff as dreams are made on."
3. What song would you want played at your funeral? "Soon Love Soon" by Vienna Teng.
4. In lieu of flowers, what should loved ones do in your honor? Support the ACLU and the SPCA.
5. What unfinished business would you wrap up? I'd have a few dozen phone calls to make.
fannish5: Name your five favorite fanfic tropes.
I feel certain that I did this before, or maybe it was favorite fanfic cliches, hee. At any rate:
1. "They must mate or die!"
2. "Trapped together on a deserted island/planet without another soul!"
3. "And at midnight, when the masks came off, it was him/her all along!"
4. "This plant/potion/weird atmospheric phenomenon will make you tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about your feelings!"
5. "I came back because, wherever I went in space/time/alternate reality, all I could think about was you!"
Sarah Palin tells Charles Gibson, "I am pro-life but I respect other people's opinions on this." Excuse me, but you cannot be anti-choice and claim to respect anyone's opinion, or legal rights or religious beliefs, but your own! I'm pro-choice and I passionately support every woman's right to choose not to have an abortion. I am completely in favor of protecting the rights of women who believe life begins at conception to carry their pregnancies to term, and supporting those women and their children after childbirth. That's respecting other people's opinions, not wanting to overturn legal precedent and force women who choose to terminate pregnancies to risk their own lives in order to do so.