Sunday, April 15, 2012

Poem for Sunday, National Arboretum, Titanic

The Convergence of the Twain
By Thomas Hardy

     (Lines on the loss of the "Titanic")


     In a solitude of the sea
     Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.


     Steel chambers, late the pyres
     Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.


     Over the mirrors meant
     To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls--grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.


     Jewels in joy designed
     To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.


     Dim moon-eyed fishes near
     Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?". . .


     Well: while was fashioning
     This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything


     Prepared a sinister mate
     For her--so gaily great--
A Shape of Ice, for the time fat and dissociate.


     And as the smart ship grew
     In stature, grace, and hue
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.


     Alien they seemed to be:
     No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history.


     Or sign that they were bent
     By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one August event,


     Till the Spinner of the Years
     Said "Now!" And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.


We got up early on Saturday to go to the National Arboretum, where the azaleas are near peak, meaning that by next weekend there won't be nearly as many blooming. There were a fair number of people but nothing like the crowds we've encountered later in the day in past years; we were hoping some potential visitors would be downtown at the Sakura festival parade, which ends this weekend though the cherry blossoms have been gone for weeks. It was yet another bright, sunny day and we got to see many dozens of plants -- plus turtles, a frog, and even a bat among the flowers -- before coming home for lunch, since Adam had plans with a friend in the afternoon.

Paul and I went to visit my Aunt Shirley, who was sleepy after a morning in the sun, though we had a nice time talking to my cousin Debbie and some of her friends who were also visiting -- and I finally brought the Downton Abbey DVDs. We also stopped at the mall, which was very crowded because Stacy London was there at an event; I have never seen What Not To Wear but I gather from Facebook that that makes me a minority among my friends (and I am quite sure she would tell me that everything I was wearing was something I shouldn't be wearing!) I had wanted the Bath & Body Works giveaway but the Montgomery Mall store wasn't even doing it, boo.

Evening TV was a no-brainer: we watched Titanic. I am not a big crying-during-movies person, particularly when I feel like the film is manipulating me -- I snickered all through the histrionic end of Terms of Endearment -- but I was really into it in part from having watched all those specials on the people when Adam arrived home from dinner with his friends to announce that he had lost his retainer at a restaurant and couldn't find it in their trash or anywhere else. I can't make an appointment to get it replaced till Monday let alone find out the cost. I may yet cry, but it will not be over the movie!


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the visit along with you and Paul. Very beautiful. It looks like a wonderful day in Washington. Thank you for taking us along with you. It is appreciated for those of us who are unable to travel.

Michelle Erica Green said...

Thanks so much! Washington has been incredibly beautiful this spring, though if we don't get more rain, I am worried about what will happen in the summer (we got lots yesterday but we'd gone more than three weeks without more than a drizzle).