Sunday, July 09, 2006

Poem for Sunday

My Picture Left in Scotland
By Ben Jonson

I now think love is rather deaf, than blind,
    For else it could not be,
        That she,
Whom I adore so much, should so slight me,
    And cast my love behind:
I'm sure my language was as sweet,
    And every close did meet
  In sentence of as subtle feet
    As hath the youngest he,
That sits in shadow of Apollo's tree.

  Oh, but my conscious fears,
        That fly my thoughts between,
        Tell me that she hath seen
    My hundreds of gray hairs,
    Told seven and forty years,
  Read so much waist, as she cannot embrace
  My mountain belly and my rocky face,
And all these, through her eyes, have stopt her ears.


From Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World. "What is a line? In screenwriting, IT IS something someone says. In poetry, too; but a line is also a unit of rhythm, represented on a page by a return to the left margin, somewhat the way sheet music represents measures with vertical lines," Pinsky writes. "Jonson (1572-1637) shows what he can do, flamboyantly -- like a dancer leaping -- in order to chide a woman who has disrespected his picture. Poor Jonson sounded better than he looked. Cupid, the god of love, is supposed to be blind -- but in this case...the varying line lengths let Jonson demonstrate how gracefully he can move the 'subtle feet' of his verses through such an attractive dance. The lady he addresses apparently was better at appraising Jonson's build and complexion than at appreciating the sweetness of his verses."

Saturday we packed up and drove to Bethany by way of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. We had lunch at the Crab Claw, a very good seafood restaurant right next to the museum, inexplicably decorated with hunting trophies but with very good crab soup, crab balls, crab dip, crab cakes...are you noticing a theme? Then we toured the museum itself, going inside the 1879 screwpile lighthouse, watching the boats being built in the skipjack restoration buildings and walked out on the wharf where there are crab and eel traps so people can see how they are collected, cleaned and shipped. There is also a big boathouse with more than a dozen locally built boats, an indoor oysterboat and model restaurant because oysters are so important to the region, an indoor historical museum on yachting in the Bay and a building entirely with paintings and models of historical ships and local military history. We had wanted to stop in part because a replica of John Smith's shallop was on display.

The rebuilt buyboat Mister Jim and the Hooper Straight Lighthouse at the museum.

Old Point and Lady Katie docked by the museum.

A small-scale model of a skipjack for kids to explore.

The reproduction of John Smith's shallop, in which he explored the Chesapeake in 1608 -- one of a great many exhibits in anticipation of the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in 1607.

A backstaff and a quadrant on an illustration of the Godspeed, Susan Constant and Discovery landing at Jamestown.

This boat, being prepared to be taken into the water, is here for Master and Commander fans because of the name!

And because what would a trip be without one...a penguin! That was the name for this little boat, the Judy, the first of about 9800 Penguin class dinghies, built in 1939 to be raced in icy water, hence the name.

Crossing over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge that connects Maryland's eastern shore with the rest of the state.

Then we drove to Bethany, where my parents had already arrived and retrieved keys, parking passes, etc. for the condo where we are staying -- same as last year, three bedrooms and three bathrooms which is a lifesaver, big living room, father brought his iPod with speakers and lots of music, and now there is wireless so we each have our own computers! We went out for pizza at the local Armand's and ate at one of the outdoor tables because it was a gorgeous low-80s evening, then walked to the beach, where it was a bit too dark for wading but a bit too light for ghost crabs...still, mostly empty and pretty and smelled wonderful. And then we came back here to get the kids to bed and I cropped photos from earlier and chilled out!

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