March 17th, 2021


(no subject)

Half an ativan unaccountably failed to put me to sleep but did loosen the muscles up so that I awoke relatively limber. Two hours in the dentist's chair took care of that, but it was nice while it lasted.

OTOH I swear there's a special feature cab drivers use that renders one's phone mute because this is the second time this week a cabby has called me from precisely the wrong location, and though I had my phone in my pocket on 'ring and vibrate' I registered nothing. But when I say I'm at 2 Carleton there's no point you sitting in front of 8 Carleton behind a truck so I can't see you, calling me up to demand where I am in cellphone garbled blabbidyblah. Equally, when I say King and University on the University side, why are you sitting a block away at York St? Why, because that's the main entrance for the building at King and University and the dispatcher said nothing about 'waiting on the University side.' This is why cabbing it is such a fraught activity and I hope I'm done with it for a bit. Though with the gales of March/ April being as they are, there's no guarantee.


Nghi Vo, When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain
-- still have a hold on the first volume but this novella is fun.

Pratchett, Reaper Man
-- not intentionally, but read on the fifth anniversary of his death

Plutarch, On Friendship
-- or whatever its title is. Mostly about false friends/ flatterers which, as I say, is a breed the common person is not likely to encounter. Two more essays and I'm done with this, and a good thing too because the book is falling apart *and* smells strange.

Mabinogion, The Lady of the Fountain and Peredur
-- oogie. Then started Culhwch and Olwen and dear god you if thought the Catalogue of Ships was bad... Can't see me going farther with this.

Reading now?

Gardner, ed, The Metaphysical Poets
-- let's get this straight: I do not like the metaphysical poets, those clever-clog snots. By me they write the most unpoetical poetry it's possible to write. As Gardner says, "...the constant complaint of its critics is that it confuses the pleasures of poetry with the pleasure of puzzles. ...its lovers have always a certain sense of being a privileged class, able to enjoy what is beyond the reach of vulgar wits." Of course Peter Wimsey always has a volume of Donne about him, just to demonstrate how superior he is.

But I read this to have it read after umm 45 years maybe? and as I'm slogging along through the earlier metaphysicals I suddenly find myself in very familiar territory. It says it's Southwell, Mary Magdalens Complaint at Christ's Death, but here in the middle:

O true life, since thou hast left me,
Mortell life is tedious,
Death it is to live without thee,
Death of all most odious.
Turne againe, or take me with thee,
Let me dye or live thou with mee.

This and the next two verses I know as a song by Thomas Morley that actually reverses the order of the stanzas. And works very well as such, but the rest of Southwell's poem doesn't fit the tune at all. I mean, maybe all the metaphysicals need is a musical setting to render them palatable?

Next up?

Many things on hold in both e- and paper format, and I could make some of the latter active. Or I could go on rereading Pratchett.