The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

American Names
By Stephen Vincent Benét

I have fallen in love with American names,
The sharp names that never get fat,
The snakeskin-titles of mining-claims,
The plumed war-bonnet of Medicine Hat,
Tucson and Deadwood and Lost Mule Flat.

Seine and Piave are silver spoons,
But the spoonbowl-metal is thin and worn,
There are English counties like hunting-tunes
Played on the keys of a postboy's horn,
But I will remember where I was born.

I will remember Carquinez Straits,
Little French Lick and Lundy's Lane,
The Yankee ships and the Yankee dates
And the bullet-towns of Calamity Jane.
I will remember Skunktown Plain.

I will fall in love with a Salem tree
And a rawhide quirt from Santa Cruz,
I will get me a bottle of Boston sea
And a blue-gum nigger to sing me blues.
I am tired of loving a foreign muse.

Rue des Martyrs and Bleeding-Heart-Yard,
Senlis, Pisa, and Blindman's Oast,
It is a magic ghost you guard
But I am sick for a newer ghost,
Harrisburg, Spartanburg, Painted Post.

Henry and John were never so
And Henry and John were always right?
Granted, but when it was time to go
And the tea and the laurels had stood all night,
Did they never watch for Nantucket Light?

I shall not rest quiet in Montparnasse.
I shall not lie easy at Winchelsea.
You may bury my body in Sussex grass,
You may bury my tongue at Champmedy.
I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass.
Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.


My major event for the afternoon was picking up the kids and taking them to the dentist/orthodontist, so you can tell that it was not an exciting day. I did inessential things all morning like rearranging my jewelry box and finishing the laundry, plus I took half the house apart looking to see if I had somehow lost my mind and forgotten that I still had the original print proofs for Now Voyager...but of course I did not, since what I found was the receipt for mailing it to the person who took over the back issues, and she claimed to have passed them on to another person who also doesn't have them. I think I must simply acknowledge that they're gone and move on to the question of whether it's worth scanning the print copies just to have some hope of preserving the images electronically. Adam has a cavity right beneath the band that holds his braces wire in place -- I don't see how he could have been expected to keep that area clean -- but otherwise the dentist was uneventful, just a long wait.

Since there was no Glee, we watched Inkheart on Cinemax -- what a delightful surprise! I knew that Paul Bettany was in it, of course, but a couple of people I know who were big fans of the books weren't crazy about the film adaptation so I didn't know how great I'd think it was, though none of us have read the books. And I doubt I'll be rushing out to get them, though the story was enjoyable enough, with plenty of female protagonists despite some ethnic dorkiness that may or may not be prominent in the novel; what I loved were the hugely entertaining performances by Jim Broadbent and Andy Serkis, plus Brendan Fraser who was likable if not inspired, and particularly Helen Mirren (who should have a scene in every single movie she does in which she rides in on a white horse to save the day). And how did I not know that Jennifer Connelly played Paul Bettany's wife! I'd probably have seen it just for that. I really need a screencap of the dreamy Pre-Raphaelite image at the very end, though all the glimpses into the world of the book are equally stunning.

Plus we got Eastwick, which was a bit of a downer plot-wise -- okay, it's always a bit of a downer when it appears that every major castmember is dead, though I feel quite confident that that isn't the case. There was tragically little Darryl Van Horne humor, though Roxie had some great lines ("We're such good neighbors we should be in an international coffee commercial"), and Eleanor was hilariously awesome even if I'm starting to think she's as evil as Darryl. But my favorite moment was the responsibility of Joanna, who remains the show's weak point for me, after the luscious Max complained that any woman with a halfway decent rack could get away with anything. Joanna objected to this remark on the grounds that her rack was not halfway decent but awesome, to which Adam said, "Not that it was sexist." Sometimes my kids make me so happy.

The middle floor of the Brunswick Railroad Museum is not focused on trains but on the town that grew up around the railway...

...and the lifestyles of townsfolk circa 1900.

There's a fully furnished Victorian parlor, currently decorated for the holidays.

Some of the cases include exhibits on children's toys and games...

...and what passed for medicine a century ago.

There are also displays of women's clothing, both handmade and more expensive ready-made items sold at local shops.

The kitchen had a display of items for the season as well.

This town, formerly known as Berlin, had to change its name because there was already a Berlin in eastern Maryland, so it became Brunswick.

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