Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Poem for Tuesday, Maryland Zoo, Mistress of Spices

To Night
By Percy Bysshe Shelley

Swiftly walk o'er the western wave,
          Spirit of the Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear,
Which make thee terrible and dear,—
          Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a mantle gray,
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out,
Then wander o'er city, and sea, and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand—
          Come, long-sought!

When I arose and saw the dawn,
          I sighed for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turned to his rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest,
          I sighed for thee.

Thy brother Death came, and cried,
          Wouldst thou me?
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmured like a noontide bee,
Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?—And I replied,
          No, not thee!

Death will come when thou art dead,
          Soon, too soon—
Sleep will come when thou art fled;
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, belovèd Night—
Swift be thine approaching flight,
          Come soon, soon!


I had a very nice Monday. I spent the morning catching up on the news -- Libya did not get a lot of coverage here sandwiched between the Royal Wedding and Bin Laden, and I'm still not sure what's going on in Syria at the moment. While I am not naive enough to believe that this is an end or even a beginning to the end of terrorism coming out of or arising within Pakistan, given that many people in positions of power clearly knew and protected Bin Laden's whereabouts, and while I find the American cowboy pride distasteful -- this isn't about U.S. military might -- I stopped reading Facebook and LiveJournal because I couldn't take one more person quoting Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. or Neville Chamberlain. I have just deleted two paragraphs of rant because there's enough hyperbole on all sides, but please, this isn't a debate involving the legality of the death penalty -- we're talking about a war criminal who, when called upon to surrender, grabbed a hostage and opened fire.

At lunchtime I had the delightful pleasure of getting to see Dementordelta, who was en route home from Aeternitas and swung by to see me. We went to California Tortilla, she brought my family brownies, I gave her a stuffed lemur (don't ask), we watched Obama's speech from the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner (Lion King joke! King's Speech parody! Trump-trumping!). After she left I had to fold laundry, so I watched The Mistress of Spices, thinking it was a romantic comedy; it's actually more of a supernatural drama and rather intense. Aishwarya Rai is lovely and I ended up ravenous for Indian food, but the screenplay seemed clunky and stereotypical in spots despite having been written by someone who's Indian, and I was really freaked out by the scene near the end with the suttee imagery; perhaps it's largely that the news of the day was getting to me, but I was not at all comfortable with the image.

Our evening entertainment before we got Stewart and Colbert to put life in perspective was Chicago Code, which continues to get better, and catching up on Sanctuary, which is never memorable to me but nearly always enjoyable! Here are some photos of the residents of the African region at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore on Saturday:

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