Saturday, January 23, 2010

Poem for Saturday and Adorable Penguins

Return!
By Sydney Dobell


Return, return! all night my lamp is burning,
All night, like it, my wide eyes watch and burn;
Like it, I fade and pale, when day returning
Bears witness that the absent can return,
          Return, return.

Like it, I lessen with a lengthening sadness,
Like it, I burn to waste and waste to burn,
Like it, I spend the golden oil of gladness
To feed the sorrowy signal for return,
          Return, return.

Like it, like it, whene'er the east wind sings,
I bend and shake; like it, I quake and yearn,
When Hope's late butterflies, with whispering wings,
Fly in out of the dark, to fall and burn—
  Burn in the watchfire of return,
            Return, return.

Like it, the very flame whereby I pine
Consumes me to its nature. While I mourn
My soul becomes a better soul than mine,
And from its brightening beacon I discern
My starry love go forth from me, and shine
Across the seas a path for thy return,
          Return, return.

Return, return! all night I see it burn,
All night it prays like me, and lifts a twin
Of palm├Ęd praying hands that meet and yearn—
Yearn to the impleaded skies for thy return.
Day, like a golden fetter, locks them in,
And wans the light that withers, tho' it burn
  As warmly still for thy return;
Still thro' the splendid load uplifts the thin
Pale, paler, palest patience that can learn
Naught but that votive sign for thy return—
That single suppliant sign for thy return,
          Return, return.

Return, return! lest haply, love, or e'er
Thou touch the lamp the light have ceased to burn,
And thou, who thro' the window didst discern
The wonted flame, shalt reach the topmost stair
  To find no wide eyes watching there,
No wither'd welcome waiting thy return!
A passing ghost, a smoke-wreath in the air,
The flameless ashes, and the soulless urn,
Warm with the famish'd fire that lived to burn—
Burn out its lingering life for thy return,
Its last of lingering life for thy return,
Its last of lingering life to light thy late return,
          Return, return.

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We had a winter weather advisory this morning in the county, so even though we just had occasional fits of snow and sleet that didn't accumulate, I stayed close to home in case the schools closed early. Daniel technically had the day off, since exams finished on Thursday and he didn't have any make-ups, but he wanted to go in for robotics, and Adam had a final day of the semester -- they both have no school Monday, though Daniel will probably go in for robotics again. I wrote a review of Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Man of the People", one of the worst episodes ever, and we had dinner with my parents...probably the last time I will have my mother's excellent chicken piccata, since Adam has announced that he wants to be a vegetarian and I told him that I'll stop eating poultry if he does. (He's giving up seafood too, which I am not; given that I can't have much sodium or much soy, it would limit me to very few things I like that I can eat quickly.)

Fannish5: Name five fictional workplaces where you would like to be employed.
1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter
2. Starfleet Academy, Star Trek
3. The Daily Planet, Smallville
4. The Bluth Company, Arrested Development
5. Jed Bartlet's White House, The West Wing


We watched the Hope For Haiti Now concert, which I really enjoyed. I'd already given money to the Red Cross, so I didn't plan to call the celebrity phone bank, which I found the most irritating aspect of the whole thing, anyway -- do we really need to listen in to Reese Witherspoon's "I'm so charitable" chitchat? But in most other ways, I thought the concert was less self-aggrandizing than the post-9/11 fundraiser, and some of the performances -- Stevie Wonder's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Jennifer Hudson's "Let It Be" -- were really moving, as was Chris Rock reading Muhammad Ali's message because Ali's Parkinson's is so advanced. Nothing that happened on any stage, though, had the impact of Anderson Cooper's segments in Haiti. Afterward we tried to watch Spartacus: Blood and Sand, but the hot sex did not in any way make up for the excess bloodiness, cheesy camera work, and endless use of gratuitous profanity (and if you know me at all, you know I am not easily offended on that count). It all seemed much, much too frivolous and silly.

LiveJournal is always sending me status messages I don't want about questions of the day, yet somehow did not manage to get a text to me saying the site would be down tonight, so since I can't get at my photos from Boston that are in my scrapbook there, here is a gratuitous little blue penguin photo:

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