Thursday, January 06, 2011

Poem for Thursday and Baltimore Conservatory

This Little Glade, Remember
By Pattiann Rogers

When lying beneath a ponderosa
pine, looking up through layers
of branches, mazes of leaf-spikes
and cones—contemplation grows
receptive to complexity,
the pleasant temptation of pine-
scented tangle. Sky as proposition
is willingly divided and spliced
into a thesis of weaves and hallows.

Name them something else
if you wish, but needled shadow
and substance are, in this hour,
an architecture of philosophy.

And a rising wind, called ”a rough
and bawdy wind“ by a rough and bawdy
voice, is that wind and that voice
transformed. The structure of words s
ways and bends in the blow.

Looking away into the clear sky,
expectation shifts. Vision becomes
a welcome to guests of crows in new
dimensions who themselves become
not only depth and horizon in a circus
of wings but old vision’s startling visitors.

Not soul alone, but soul consumed
by a single bee descending into the center
of a purple mountain lily is soul
to a soul suckled in sleep.

Earth and human together
form a unique being. A brief era
of immortality is lent to each
by the other. Move momentarily
now—with hovering granite cliff,
with sun-stripe flick of perhaps
vagrant shrew, with raised tack
of mightly larkspur—into this company.


I woke up at 6 when one son left and at 6:30 when the other son left and again at 8 when my husband left, but I was sandwiched between two cats, so I kept falling back asleep and then somehow I managed to oversleep and didn't get up till 9:30. That pretty much set the tone for my Wednesday. The weather wasn't bad but I barely got out to appreciate it. I did a bunch of stupid chores and converted a bunch of files and watched Colin Firth on YouTube...fortunately I have plans to see The King's Speech again tomorrow with Gblvr, which hopefully (though not likely) will get it out of my system. Meanwhile, here are some photos of flowers and plants from the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens in Baltimore's Druid Hill Park:

I went looking for something to watch in the evening and discovered that Good was on On Demand. It's not a great play and the film got terrible reviews, but I wanted to see Jason Isaacs play Maurice and I was really curious how Viggo Mortensen would play John Halder, a character I absolutely loathe. In fact, as much as I found An Education to be a disappointment, I thought Good was better than its critics said. Spoilers: Viggo plays Halder well, by which I mean as a spineless, selfish, loathsome coward not worthy of one iota of sympathy -- oh yes, I know he's supposed to represent all the poor German intellectuals just caught up in Nazi policies, you'll have to forgive me if that makes me want to shoot him in the face. I saw the play in college and don't recall it very well, but I think they toned Maurice down in the film; I seem to remember that he denigrated the whole idea of Jewish heritage until the Nazis came to power, and that he was a lot more lewd when it came to women.

Isaacs is charismatic as always, but his character isn't all that memorable in the film; we just don't see enough of him, we see more of Halder's despicable second wife. As for the Nazis, while I know that restraint is supposed to be part of the storytelling, since we see everything through Halder's psychotic lens (whenever things get too difficult to deal with, he tunes out reality and hears Mahler), Kristallnacht is much too quiet, Auschwitz is much too clean -- usually I avoid Holocaust-themed movies because the representations are unwatchable, but this one was as sterilized as Halder's view of the Nazis -- he sees the book collected but not burned, no smoke, no soot, no ruin. The film ended just in time for us to put on the People's Choice Awards and see the only category I cared about, Favorite Female Artist, since I like all the nominees (Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Pink, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood). And I am pleased $#&! My Dad Says won Favorite New Comedy since that bodes well for its continued existence, and amused that Eclipse has picked up the only major award it will win this season.

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