Monday, June 13, 2011

Poem for Monday, Brookside Butterflies, Tony Awards

By Constantine P. Cavafy
Translated by Edmund Keeley

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.


This is going to be a quickie because Daniel is graduating from high school in the morning and we all have to get up early and be organized for the ceremony downtown. We had a quiet Sunday morning, and after lunch we took the kids plus Adam's friend Daniel to Brookside Gardens to the annual Wings of Fancy butterfly show. It was hotter than Saturday, in the 90s, and absolutely sweltering in the greenhouses, but it wasn't very crowded because of the heat, and we got to see many caterpillars, butterflies, and flowers, plus we walked a bit in the gardens outside and saw lots of turtles swimming to stay cool. Here are some of the butterflies, more photos later in the week:

I'm sure you all have noticed that I haven't cared who won the NBA championship, so I wasn't watching Dallas; I was, of course, watching the Tony Awards. The big winner of the night in any event was Neil Patrick Harris, whose awesomeness knows no bounds, from the opening number ("There's no sodomy required") to the duet with Hugh Jackman to the Sondheim celebrity guest number -- they should sign him as permanent host, insist that all actor speeches must be shorter than 60 seconds and let NPH fill the extra time with more delightful numbers.

There were a couple of sad, nostalgic moments for me -- it's weird when "It's Raining Men" qualifies as a sad, nostalgic moment, but that's how old I am, and seeing Romulus Linney, who was Paul's and my teacher in college, in the farewell montage. I was rooting for John Larroquette even though I didn't see How To Succeed In Business... because I adored him on Boston Legal (Daniel Radcliffe's singing and dancing looked fine to me -- particularly compared to the terrible Spider-Man number, THAT was the best they could come up with for the Tony Awards?), and I otherwise had no opinions on who should win, though I did dance a little that Frances McDormand, in the most I-don't-care award show dress ever, beat Vanessa Redgrave. Plus I'm delighted Larroquette won and very happy for Mark Rylance. If anyone didn't catch it, has The Book Of Mormon for download for $1.99 in honor of the awards, so go grab it if you want it!

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