Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poem for Tuesday and VMFA Art

The "Ode To Man" from Sophocles' Antigone
By Anne Carson

Many terribly quiet customers exist but none more
terribly quiet than Man:
his footsteps pass so perilously soft across the sea
in marble winter,
up the stiff blue waves and every Tuesday
down he grinds the unastonishable earth
with horse and shatter.

Shatters too the cheeks of birds and traps them in his forest headlights,
salty silvers roll into his net, he weaves it just for that,
this terribly quiet customer.
He dooms
animals and mountains technically,
by yoke he makes the bull bend, the horse to its knees.

And utterance and thought as clear as complicated air and
moods that make a city moral, these he taught himself.
The snowy cold he knows to flee
and every human exigency crackles as he plugs it in:
every outlet works but
Death stays dark.

Death he cannot doom.
Fabrications notwithstanding.
honest oath taking notwithstanding.

Hilarious in his high city
you see him cantering just as he please,
the lava up to here.


From this week's New Yorker.

I got a lovely surprise on Monday -- Jules had taken the afternoon off and called to see if I was around! So I got to see her for the first time since she moved to my state, which is really a shameful state of affairs, though she was at Comic-Con and before that I was in North Carolina and things have gone like that most of the summer. On short notice I had nothing exciting to offer her -- I was in the midst of laundries and hadn't even showered -- so we went to the mall with my kids, where she and I got frozen yogurt with mochi and they got Subway and afterward we wandered into Hot Topic and Claire's to show how trendy we can be. We are overdue an afternoon of Avatar and California Tortilla, or perhaps an evening of Italian food and vampire stuff.

In the late afternoon, Adam and I went to Rose's see the baby bird, since we had not been able to on Sunday when we got home so late from Richmond. His fluffy chest feathers are becoming sleek adult feathers and he's definitely bigger -- even his tail looks longer. He prefers the upper perches in the cage and really prefers to be on top of it listening to all the birds outside, though he now has a mirror to keep him company overnight so he peeps for himself, too. Hopefully he will be able to fly soon -- he pecks at millet and berries but isn't really eating much by himself yet, and an attempt to introduce him to a bird bath ended up with Rose getting wetter than he did since he kept hopping quite forcefully out of the water onto the rim of the bath!

Paul's brother, the vegan chef in L.A., is going to be in the new Ozzy Osbourne video. We watched Sherlock's "The Great Game," and I must admit I am even less impressed than I was with "The Blind Banker" -- spoilers -- lots of gratuitous misogyny (Watson saying "Girls, calm down" to Holmes and Lestrade), so many I'm-not-gay jokes and stereotypes about who is gay that we've gone from entertaining slashy winks to not-funny heterosexist mockery, a big messy plot that ultimately isn't very satisfying, and a missed opportunity with the villain. I was hoping never to see Moriarty this season, or that if we did, it would be Sally or Zoe -- I might forgive the series' treatment of women overall if we saw one who was Holmes' equal. But the writers don't seem to consider that a possibility. I still think the Moriarty we met may not be the real Moriarty, just someone he hired to be his public face, but I'm not expecting much from the real thing even if that's true, because I'm really underwhelmed by the show.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has a terrific Art Deco and Art Nouveau collection.

Here is a Dante Gabriel Rossetti drawing displayed over an Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo dining chair.

The collection includes designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald.

These windows and chairs were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The museum is also well-known for its Faberge collection...

...such as the frames surrounding the Czar and his family.

Sol Lewitt's Splotch #22 greets visitors near the museum entrance.

And here as promised are Adam and the itty bitty birdie.

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