Daytime Begins with a Line by Anna Akhmatova
By Yusef Komunyakaa
The round, hanging lanterns,
lit faces in a window of the Marble Palace
Catherine the Great built for a lover,
with the Field of Mars below,
snow falling inside two minds.
One translated Babylonian folktales
so the other could stand in line early morning
for bread at the House of Scholars.
A touch of dawn was again nightfall,
their room furnished with scattered papers,
rare books, a couch with springs poking out,
a bookcase, a floral pitcher, a china cabinet,
a naked light bulb dangling over a table.
Did the two poets learn it took more
to sing & reflect the burning icy stars
of poetry where privilege & squalor
lived beneath the same ornate ceiling?
Did they tiptoe from the wintery dusk
of the servants’ wing, follow the pseudo-
Gothic stairs up to the forbidden aromas
of Turkish tobacco, sugar, & exotic teas?
Sometimes, they kept themselves warm
with talk of the empress’s love of horses
as they galloped another century. Then,
sketches of their time at the Stray Dog
lit the air around those neoclassic nights,
& maybe they also spoke about “Venice
rotting with gold” near the Arctic Circle,
& anger almost kept them warm on days
they bent over pages of snow-blindness
where tears brought them to laughter.
Both my laptops are now running Windows 10 -- I had to create an installation drive and erase everything off the ASUS Transformer to install it on that one's very small hard drive, but it's working and I was even able to restore MS Office despite the fact that the laptop didn't come with discs. So I feel accomplished, and so far pretty much everything I need is working, apart from some niggling things like not getting printer notifications (I can scan and print, which are more important). I chatted with Daniel tonight about various issues we were both having uninstalling Microsoft's new apps, but for the most part I really like Windows 10.
While Windows was installing on my ASUS, I finished a review of Voyager's "Learning Curve" and did various chores which included Adam's laundry after Paul and I picked him up in College Park, utterly exhausted after a week of being an R.A. for high school students while finishing a summer geography class to free him up for engineering classes in the fall. He has worked hard all summer! In the evening Cheryl and I decided we should watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in honor of Harry's birthday. Here for nostalgia's sake are some photos of this spring's cherry blossoms downtown: