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Sun Jun 1st, 2014

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06:35 pm - There's an end of May- again
Weatherwise an irreproachable weekend: sunny, cool, clean air and deep blue skies. Alas that my property tax bill came Friday, so sun delights not me nor cool neither. (Though last night's cool wind at the study window was pleasant, in a timeless 'I have felt this before' fashion.) Or maybe it's the frozen shoulder I woke up with Friday morning, that even today's acupuncture could not relieve. Or maybe it's the perpetual threatening charley horse in the thigh, or maybe it's the sad recollection of babies left and gone*, or maybe it's the latest chapter of Saiyuki Reload Blast.

Next few days are set to be hot, wet, and thunderous, or IOW June.

*Souls of poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known
Happy field or mossy cavern
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?

Have had that in my head since I was eleven or so and never realized it was Keats.

Stasheff, Her Majesty's Wizard

Lively, The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy
-- long on atmosphere, short on resolution, which is how I remember Lively being in general

de Bodard, Harbinger of the Storm

Mizuki, NonNonBa
--that Other Japan, always situated outside of Tokyo and earlier than Heisei.

Fforde, The Eyre Affair

Kipling, Something of Myself
--the other thing one likes about Kipling is that he liked his family and his family liked him. Got on beautifully with his parents in a good friends fashion, even though they were separated for ten years from the age of six to sixteen. That might have put a crimp in anyone's relationship

Mizuki, Kitaro
--I can see how very Japanese it is, but to me it's a slighter work than NonNonBa

We shall add three books to the PoC fantasy challenge, then.

I was surprisingly social in May, in that I went out and saw people four of the five weekends, in addition to my regular auntly visits and babysitting gigs. Also spent a week taking daycare laundry to the laundromat; wrote a little; planted my garden, where at least two squash are starting to come up; and worked quite a bit, making my bank account happy. It should have been a classically excellent May, then; just, it wasn't.

(5 comments | post comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 2nd, 2014 01:27 am (UTC)
My main association with the Mermaid Tavern is Alfred Noyes, as he wrote a set of poems based around it. Quite reasonable ones, I think I remember.

(My grandmother had a collected volume of Alfred Noyes. I would end up reading it every summer when we went to stay with my grandparents and aunt and uncle in Guernsey, and I ran out of my own books to read and started desperately going through any other bookshelves. I think Alfred Noyes was the first poet I really appreciated as a poet in himself, followed by Swinburne and Chesterton, mainly because they were in front of me or on the school bookshelves. That is, as opposed to general poems showing up in the Popular Reciter or in school poetry anthologies or whatever.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 2nd, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC)
Interesting. The poems seem to be online, a scanned version of the original book that won't enlarge enough to be clear. Frustrating. Though the little I could make out didn't seem to have the thundering rhythm of most Noyes that I know. Were they in ballad form or something else?

I too was infected by the poetic interests of that generation, though in my case my mother gave me Swinburne's verse, which even at 12 I thought odd of her. I preferred Chesterton and Kipling and Millay, because I at least knew what they were talking about.
[User Picture]
Date:June 2nd, 2014 12:53 pm (UTC)
They're up on Project Gutenberg here:

(starting around page 274)

Generally blank verse, with some ballads included.

I found Swinburne on the shelves for myself, and totally failed to understand large chunks of it, but fell in love with the words and rhythms. I also remember a point in (compulsory) art class at school at age 12 when we were all supposed to be trying to do calligraphy, and I insisted on doing a verse from The Garden of Proserpine and decorated it with little coffins floating down a stream in the background. In retrospect, I must have had a very tolerant art teacher.
[User Picture]
Date:June 2nd, 2014 10:41 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, much more readable. Thank you.

I like the little coffins floating down a stream. Coffins plural, we note.
[User Picture]
Date:June 2nd, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
The verse in question, IIRC, was:

From too much love of living,
From hopes and fears set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods there be
That no man lives forever,
That dead men rise up never,
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

(I suppose she must have seen it as a positive that I was at least reading poetry independently and wanting to use it for art purposes...)

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