To The River
By Edgar Allan Poe
Fair river! in thy bright, clear flow
Of crystal, wandering water,
Thou art an emblem of the glow
Of beauty -- the unhidden heart --
The playful maziness of art
In old Alberto's daughter;
But when within thy wave she looks --
Which glistens then, and trembles --
Why, then, the prettiest of brooks
Her worshipper resembles;
For in my heart, as in thy stream,
Her image deeply lies --
The heart which trembles at the beam
Of her soul-searching eyes.
Paul and I had a great Sunday in Richmond despite the fact that the afternoon-to-evening rain started around 10 a.m. and continued all day. We met Cheryl and Lin at the VMFA, had lunch, and went to the Rodin: Evolution of a Genius exhibit, which had nearly 200 works in plaster, stone, and bronze, often variations on the same sculpture to show the artist's evolution. When we were finished, we discovered that it was pouring, so we decided not to go walk in the park and instead went to see the terrific Virginia 360°, a collection of panoramic photos of famous Virginia places (Monticello, Mount Vernon, the gubernatorial mansion, UVA, even the VMFA) by Thomas R. Schiff.
Fromm there we went to the Poe Museum, driving through the very pretty neighborhood surrounding VCU. The museum is housed in the oldest house in Richmond, which was mostly burned to the ground at the end of the Civil War; Poe never lived in the house, but it's only a few blocks from where Poe lived in Richmond and where he worked at the Southern Literary Messenger. The museum has items that belonged to Poe and his family, a collection of his letters and books, some analysis and artistic interpretations of Poe's significance, black cats, and a little shrine with a fountain and statue of Poe that was visited by Gertrude Stein, among others. Here are Poe photos (Rodin tomorrow):
We had dinner at Mexico, then drove home in the rain and fog, missing Madam Secretary but getting home in time for Downton Abbey, which was unsatisfying-to-aggravating in pretty much every way and I wouldn't blame anyone in the U.K. who simply bailed before the Christmas episode finale. Since it's one more week, I figure we may as well finish out the run, though I haven't really enjoyed it for years now. John Oliver's show at least was brilliant this week, and the sports news is enjoyable because Maryland beat Michigan! Go Terp hoops!