photograph by Anthony Tran via Unsplash
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
They called me the hyacinth girl.”
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Öd’ und leer das Meer.
— The Waste Land
cf. video by cottonbro via Pexels
Art and eloquence,
And all the shows o’ the world, are frail and vain
To weep a loss that turns their lights to shade.
It is a woe ‘too deep for tears’ when all
Is reft at once, when some surpassing Spirit,
Whose light adorned the world around it, leaves
Those who remain behind, not sobs or groans,
The passionate tumult of a clinging hope,—
But pale despair and cold tranquillity,
Nature’s vast frame, the web of human things,
Birth and the grave, that are not as they were.
Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)
UMFA Docent Yearbook, 2014-2015
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance—
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes those gleams
Of past existence,—wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!
— Wordsworth, “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour July 13, 1798”
photograph by Jane Palash via Unsplash
WHO is it that this dark night,
Underneath my window plaineth?
It is one who from thy sight,
Being, ah! exiled; disdaineth
Every other vulgar light.
Why, alas! and are you he?
Be not yet those fancies changèd?
Dear! when you find change in me,
Though from me you be estrangèd;
Let my change to ruin be.
Well in absence this will die.
Leave to see! and leave to wonder!
Absence sure will help, if I
Can learn how myself to sunder
From what in my heart doth lie.
But time will these thoughts remove:
Time doth work what no man knoweth.
Time doth as the subject prove,
With time still th’affection groweth
In the faithful turtle dove.
— Sir Philip Sidney
cf. photograph by Noah Buscher via Unsplash
Poor naked wretches, whereso’er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your loop’d and window’d raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en
Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp;
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
That thou may’st shake the superflux to them,
And show the heavens more just.
— King Lear
All Broken Hearts Break Differently
cf. Video by MART PRODUCTION via Pexels
“It’s not too late for you, on any side, and you don’t strike me as in danger of missing the train; besides which people can be in general pretty well trusted, of course—with the clock of their freedom ticking as loud as it seems to do here—to keep an eye on the fleeting hour. All the same don’t forget that you’re young—blessedly young; be glad of it on the contrary and live up to it. Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven’t had that what have you had?
…But that doesn’t affect the point that the right time is now yours. The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have. You’ve plenty; that’s the great thing; you’re, as I say, damn you, so happily and hatefully young. Don’t at any rate miss things out of stupidity. Of course I don’t take you for a fool, or I shouldn’t be addressing you thus awfully. Do what you like so long as you don’t make my mistake. For it was a mistake. Live!”
— Henry James, The Ambassadors
Born to Run
photograph by Victorien Ameline via Unsplash
E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.
And so we came forth, and once again beheld the stars.
— William Styron, Darkness Visible
Don’t Let Go The Coat
photograph by Warren Wong via Unsplash
Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved for a time. “We have lost the first of the ebb,” said the Director suddenly. I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.
— Conrad, Heart of Darkness
“So foul a sky clears not without a storm.”
— Shakespeare, King John
Whosoever unceasingly strives upward … him can we save.
Carry On Wayward Son
photograph by Mert Kahveci via Unsplash
At this moment, the tavern door opened. Several persons entered bringing with them an odor of wet dog to which was blent the smell of coal wafted by the wind through the opened door. Des Esseintes was incapable of moving a limb. A soft warm languor prevented him from even stretching out his hand to light a cigar. He told himself: “Come now, let us get up, we must take ourselves off.” Immediate objections thwarted his orders. What is the use of moving, when one can travel on a chair so magnificently? Was he not even now in London, whose aromas and atmosphere and inhabitants, whose food and utensils surrounded him? For what could he hope, if not new disillusionments, as had happened to him in Holland?
He had but sufficient time to race to the station. An overwhelming aversion for the trip, an imperious need of remaining tranquil, seized him with a more and more obvious and stubborn strength. Pensively, he let the minutes pass, thus cutting off all retreat, and he said to himself, “Now it would be necessary to rush to the gate and crowd into the baggage room! What ennui! What a bore that would be!” Then he repeated to himself once more, “In fine, I have experienced and seen all I wished to experience and see. I have been filled with English life since my departure. I would be mad indeed to go and, by an awkward trip, lose those imperishable sensations. How stupid of me to have sought to disown my old ideas, to have doubted the efficacy of the docile phantasmagories of my brain, like a very fool to have thought of the necessity, of the curiosity, of the interest of an excursion!”
“Well!” he exclaimed, consulting his watch, “it is now time to return home.”
This time, he arose and left, ordered the driver to bring him back to the Sceaux station, and returned with his trunks, packages, valises, rugs, umbrellas and canes, to Fontenay, feeling the physical stimulation and the moral fatigue of a man coming back to his home after a long and dangerous voyage.
— Huysmans, Against The Grain
Call me the breeze
photograph by Isi Parente via Unsplash
“…but now I have a particular reason for wishing to hear all about the fire. Was it suspected that this lunatic, Mrs. Rochester, had any hand in it?”
“You’ve hit it, ma’am: it’s quite certain that it was her, and nobody but her, that set it going…”
— Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
photograph by David Raichman via Unsplash
Icarus and Psyche
Keats, what thoughts I have of you tonight
O, Hyperion! O, aching time!
thoughts of the hopes of the past —
the burden of the mystery
of the wide world
I stand alone
a sick eagle
far from the fiery noon
and eve’s one star
Wouldn’t It Be Good
photograph by gustavovillegas via Pixabay
Monday, 11 o’clock. Well, praised be God! here I am. Videlicet, Ruthin, sixteen miles from Wrexham. At Wrexham Church I glanced upon the face of a Miss E. Evans, a young lady with [whom] I had been in habits of fraternal correspondence. She turned excessively pale; she thought it my ghost, I suppose. I retreated with all possible speed to our inn. There, as I was standing at the window, passed by Eliza Evans, and with her to my utter surprise her sister, Mary Evans, quam efflictim et perdite amabam. I apprehend she is come from London on a visit to her grandmother, with whom Eliza lives. I turned sick, and all but fainted away! The two sisters, as H. informs me, passed by the window anxiously several times afterwards; but I had retired.
Vivit, sed mihi non vivit—nova forte marita,
Ah dolor! alterius carâ, a cervice pependit.
Vos, malefida valete accensæ insomnia mentis,
Littora amata valete! Vale, ah! formosa Maria!
My fortitude would not have supported me, had I recognized her—I mean appeared to do it! I neither ate nor slept yesterday. But love is a local anguish; I am sixteen miles distant, and am not half so miserable. I must endeavour to forget it amid the terrible graces of the wild wood scenery that surround me. I never durst even in a whisper avow my passion, though I knew she loved me. Where were my fortunes? and why should I make her miserable! Almighty God bless her! Her image is in the sanctuary of my heart, and never can it be torn away but with the strings that grapple it to life. Southey! there are few men of whose delicacy I think so highly as to have written all this. I am glad I have so deemed of you. We are soothed by communications.
— Letter from Coleridge to Robert Southey, Sunday, July 15, 1794
photograph by REVOLT via Unsplash
“It’s greater happiness than you deserve, then! You have never chosen, I say; you have been afraid to choose. You have never really faced the fact that you are false, that you have broken your faith. You have never looked at it and seen that it was hideous, and yet said, ‘No matter, I’ll brave the penalty, I’ll bear the shame!’ You have closed your eyes; you have tried to stifle remembrance, to persuade yourself that you were not behaving as badly as you seemed to be, and there would be some way, after all, of compassing bliss and yet escaping trouble. You have faltered and drifted, you have gone on from accident to accident, and I am sure that at this present moment you can’t tell what it is you really desire!”
— Henry James, Roderick Hudson
cf. video by Yaroslav Shuraev via Pexels
Did you think of me last night?
[Comes nearer.] I think of you always—as something beautiful and distant— the moon or some deep music.
[Smiling.] And last night which was I?
I was awake half the night. I could hear your voice. I could see your face in the dark. Your eyes… I want to speak to you. Will you listen to me? May I speak?
— Joyce, Exiles
Moonlight Feels Right
photograph by Fernando @cferdo via Unsplash
Nicole’s world had fallen to pieces, but it was only a flimsy and scarcely created world; beneath it her emotions and instincts fought on. Was it an hour ago she had waited by the entrance, wearing her hope like a corsage at her belt?
. . . Dress stay crisp for him, button stay put, bloom narcissus–air stay still and sweet.
“It will be nice to have fun again,” she fumbled on. For a moment she entertained a desperate idea of telling him how rich she was, what big houses she lived in, that really she was a valuable property–for a moment she made herself into her grandfather, Sid Warren, the horse-trader. But she survived the temptation to confuse all values and shut these matters into their Victorian side-chambers–even though there was no home left to her, save emptiness and pain.
“I have to go back to the clinic. It’s not raining now.”
Dick walked beside her, feeling her unhappiness, and wanting to drink the rain that touched her cheek.
“I have some new records,” she said. “I can hardly wait to play them. Do you know–“
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
cf. Unknown, “Street with Lamp Post and Wine Shop” (ca. 1850s) (edited negative)
…But one pale woman all alone,
The daylight kissing her wan hair,
Loitered beneath the gas lamps’ flare,
With lips of flame and heart of stone.
— Oscar Wilde
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1986)
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain…
— The Waste Land
Degas, “The Collector of Prints” (1866)
BEFORE my drift-wood fire I sit,
And see, with every waif I burn,
Old dreams and fancies coloring it,
And folly’s unlaid ghosts return.
O ships of mine, whose swift keels cleft
The enchanted sea on which they sailed,
Are these poor fragments only left
Of vain desires and hopes that failed?
— John Greenleaf Whittier
You Take A Heart
…it is called the Slough of Despond; for still, as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there ariseth in his soul many fears, and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place. And this is the reason of the badness of this ground.
— Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress
cf. William Hamilton, “Male Traveler in a Storm” (1770–80)
The little world, the subject of my muse,
Is a huge task and labor infinite;
Like to a wilderness or mass confuse,
Or to an endless gulf, or to the night:
How many strange Meanders do I find?
How many paths do turn my straying pen?
How many doubtful twilights make me blind,
Which seek to limb out this strange All of men?
Easy it were the earth to portray out,
Or to draw forth the heavens’ purest frame,
Whose restless course, by order whirls about
Of change and place, and still remains the same.
But how shall man’s, or manner’s, form appear,
Which while I write, do change from what they were?
— Thomas Bastard, Book 1, Epigram 5: Ad lectorem de subjecto operis sui.
I wish it would rain down
Photograph by Luka Reedy via Unsplash
I went looking for myself
in a reflection
in city glass
I saw long ago
on a windy day
photograph by Hari Nandakumar via Unsplash
Whiskey Tango Charlie
at the airport lounge
nothing gold can stay
Third Rate Romance
cf. photograph by Cade Prior via Pexels
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
— Langston Hughes, Mother to Son
cf. photograph by Vlad Bagacian via Pexels
In the last year of his life he wrote his daughter, “I wish now I’d never relaxed or looked back – but said at the end of “The Great Gatsby”: I’ve found my line – from now on this comes first. This is my immediate duty – without this I am nothing.”
— Arthur Mizener, “Gatsby, 35 Years Later”
Almost ten years ago I participated in the conference whose proceedings would become the volume “Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies: Consequences of Skepticism.” Stanley sat directly in front of me and listened attentively to my talk, thrilling and scary, not to say awkward, reading out “Cavell writes…” and “Cavell says…” with the man right there. After the Q and A, someone, I don’t remember who, brought me over and introduced us. Stanley shook my hand and with the other patted my shoulder and said, with a broad smile, “Stay on your path, young man.”
— Paul Grimstad, “Stay on Your Path, Young Man”
Point Of Know Return
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1968)
DEVOURING Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-liv’d phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O! carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.
— Sonnet XIX
I Just Wanna Stop
photograph by Brayden Law via Unsplash
the candle burns
the wind sits
nightfall is far
Photograph by Jon Tyson via Unsplash
“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.
“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
— Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Man in the Mirror
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1969)
Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1969)
YOU left me, sweet, two legacies,—
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;
You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.
— Emily Dickinson
Marlene on the Wall
cf. Prelinger Archives Home Movie (edited)
old and grey and full of sleep
then you were
We May Never Pass This Way (Again)
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1969)
…the custom of all the gentlemen of the house was to betake themselves straightway after supper to my lady Duchess; where, among the other pleasant pastimes and music and dancing that continually were practiced, sometimes neat questions were proposed, sometimes ingenious games were devised at the choice of one or another, in which under various disguises the company disclosed their thoughts figuratively to whom they liked best.
— Castiglione, “The Book Of The Courtier” (1528)
Queen of Hearts
cf. from the Nationaal Archief collection, 1940 (edited)
pure of heart
I could not save myself
the lost time
and the person I was
A Man I’ll Never Be
cf. Spy Magazine (1986)
“I’ve got something to tell YOU, old sport,—” began Gatsby. But Daisy guessed at his intention…
— Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
John Dominis, “Woodstock Music & Art Fair” (1969)
Harry Wayne McMahan, “The Television Commercial” (1954)
Even It Up
Marion S. Trikosko, “Working College Students” (1971)
Soon, O Ianthe! life is o’er,
And sooner beauty’s heavenly smile:
Grant only (and I ask no more),
Let love remain that little while.
— Walter Savage Landor
See A Little Light
Thomas J. O’Halloran, “Students leaving school” (1977)
Ne regarde pas la figure,
Jeune fille, regarde le cœur.
Le cœur d’un beau jeune homme est souvent difforme.
Il y a des cœurs où l’amour ne se conserve pas.
Jeune fille, le sapin n’est pas beau,
N’est pas beau comme le peuplier,
Mais il garde son feuillage l’hiver…
— Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris
The First Cut Is the Deepest
E. Anthony Valainis, “A Thin Line” (Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, 1996)
SUCCESS is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed…
— Emily Dickinson
Photograph by Etienne Boulanger via Unsplash
It was after nine o’clock when he left the shop. The night was cold and gloomy. He entered the Park by the first gate and walked along under the gaunt trees. He walked through the bleak alleys where they had walked four years before. She seemed to be near him in the darkness. At moments he seemed to feel her voice touch his ear, her hand touch his. He stood still to listen. Why had he withheld life from her?…He felt his moral nature falling to pieces.
— Joyce, from Dubliners
cf. CIO Magazine (1987)
All my past life is mine no more,
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams giv’n o’er,
Whose images are kept in store
By memory alone.
The time that is to come is not;
How can it then be mine?
The present moment’s all my lot;
And that, as fast as it is got,
Phyllis, is only thine.
Then talk not of inconstancy,
False hearts, and broken vows;
If I, by miracle, can be
This live-long minute true to thee,
’Tis all that Heav’n allows.
— John Wilmot Earl of Rochester
Hello It’s Me
cf. Microcomputing Magazine (1981)
Think not this paper comes with vain pretense
To move your pity, or to mourn th’ offense.
Too well I know that hard obdurate heart;
No softening mercy there will take my part,
Nor can a woman’s arguments prevail,
When even your patron’s wise example fails.
But this last privilege I still retain;
Th’ oppressed and injured always may complain…
— Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
cf. National Geographic Magazine (1952)
IT ’S all I have to bring to-day,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget,—
Some one the sun could tell,—
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.
— Emily Dickinson
The Pleasure Principle
cf. Videos by Life On Super 8 via Pexels
You’re The Love
cf. Nation’s Business Magazine (1970)
in the room
will not come again
cf. Nation’s Business Magazine (1970)
TO all those happy blessings, which ye have
With plenteous hand by heaven upon you thrown;
This one disparagement they to you gave,
That ye your love lent to so mean a one.
Ye, whose high worth’s surpassing paragon
Could not on earth have found one fit for mate,
Ne but in heaven matchable to none,
Why did ye stoop unto so lowly state?
But ye thereby much greater glory gat,
Than had ye sorted with a prince’s peer:
For, now your light doth more itself dilate,
And, in my darkness, greater doth appear.
Yet, since your light hath once illumined me,
With my reflex yours shall increased be.
— Edmund Spenser
Just Got Lucky
cf. LIFE Magazine (ca. 1970)
Far and Close
Look a while at me,
Look a while at a cloud.
You are far away while looking at me,
So very close while looking at the cloud.
— Gu Cheng (Tr. Morin)
Shower the People
cf. Cincinnati Magazine (1983)
As Hermes once took to his feathers light,
When lulled Argus, baffled, swoon’d and slept,
So on a Delphic reed, my idle spright
So play’d, so charm’d, so conquer’d, so bereft
The dragon-world of all its hundred eyes;
And seeing it asleep, so fled away,
Not to pure Ida with its snow-cold skies,
Nor unto Tempe where Jove griev’d that day;
But to that second circle of sad Hell,
Where in the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw
Of rain and hail-stones, lovers need not tell
Their sorrows—pale were the sweet lips I saw,
Pale were the lips I kiss’d, and fair the form
I floated with, about that melancholy storm.
— Keats, On a Dream
Zach Muhlbauer, “Wyeth Eyewear” (2019)
Of this worlds Theatre in which we stay,
My love lyke the Spectator ydly sits
Beholding me that all the pageants play,
Disguysing diversly my troubled wits.
Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits,
And mask in myrth lyke to a Comedy:
Soone after when my joy to sorrow flits,
I waile and make my woes a Tragedy.
Yet she beholding me with constant eye,
Delights not in my merth nor rues my smart:
But when I laugh she mocks, and when I cry
She laughes, and hardens evermore her hart.
What then can move her? if not merth nor mone,
She is no woman, but a sencelesse stone.
— Edmund Spenser, “Amoretti LIV: Of this worlds Theatre in which we stay”
Kaye, “Plymouth Savoy in Australia” (ca. 1950s)
O joyous, blossoming, ever-blessed flowers!
’Mid which my pensive queen her footstep sets;
O plain, that hold’st her words for amulets
And keep’st her footsteps in thy leafy bowers!
O trees, with earliest green of springtime hours,
And all spring’s pale and tender violets!
O grove, so dark the proud sun only lets
His blithe rays gild the outskirts of thy towers!
O pleasant country-side! O limpid stream,
That mirrorest her sweet face, her eyes so clear,
And of their living light canst catch the beam!
I envy thee her presence pure and dear.
There is no rock so senseless but I deem
It burns with passion that to mine is near.
— Petrarch (Tr. Higginson)
Heaven Help Me
State Archives of Florida, “Ski Champs in Action” (ca. 1955)
I got everything you wanted
Give you everything you need
Still you want that sugar daddy over me?
cf. Video by Welton Souza via Pexels
ALAS! so all things now do hold their peace!
Heaven and earth disturbed in no thing;
The beasts, the air, the birds their song do cease,
The nightès car the stars about doth bring.
Calm is the sea; the waves work less and less:
So am not I, whom love, alas! doth wring,
Bringing before my face the great increase
Of my desires, whereat I weep and sing,
In joy and woe, as in a doubtful ease.
For my sweet thoughts sometime do pleasure bring;
But by and by, the cause of my disease
Gives me a pang, that inwardly doth sting,
When that I think what grief it is again,
To live and lack the thing should rid my pain.
— Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, “A Complaint by Night of the Lover not beloved”
Nights Are Forever Without You
cf. Left: Maclean’s Magazine (1969) and Right: LIFE Magazine (1970)
There’s Only One Way To Rock
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1987)
was the past in color?
1987 was in color
bigger than life
but then again
it could have been
only black and white —
I can’t see in this light
late at night
Maclean’s Magazine (1969)
But Minerva resolved to help Ulysses, so she bound the ways of all the winds except one, and made them lie quite still; but she roused a good stiff breeze from the North that should lay the waters till Ulysses reached the land of the Phaeacians where he would be safe…
While he was thus in two minds a wave caught him and took him with such force against the rocks that he would have been smashed and torn to pieces if Minerva had not shown him what to do…
Here poor Ulysses would have certainly perished even in spite of his own destiny, if Minerva had not helped him to keep his wits about him…
Then, as one who lives alone in the country, far from any neighbor, hides a brand as fire-seed in the ashes to save himself from having to get a light elsewhere, even so did Ulysses cover himself up with leaves; and Minerva shed a sweet sleep upon his eyes, closed his eyelids, and made him lose all memories of his sorrows.
Shadows Of The Night
Maclean’s Magazine (1976)
Jill: I’m not so sure you can’t hurt him. Maybe more than anybody. (Crosses above table.) I think you deserve all the credit you can get for turning out a pretty marvelous guy—but bringing up a son—even a blind one—isn’t a lifetime occupation. (Mrs. Baker turns U., away from Jill.) Now the more you help him, the more you hurt him. It was Linda Fletcher—not you— (Mrs. Baker turns and looks at Jill Slowly.) who gave him the thing he needed most—confidence in himself. (Crossing away L.) You’re always dwelling on the negative—always what he needs, never what he wants … always what he can’t do, never what he can. (Crosses D. end of sofa.) What about his music? Have you heard the song he wrote? I’ll bet you didn’t even know he could write songs! (Crosses above table.) You’re probably dead right about me. I’m not the ideal girl for Don, but I know one thing—neither are you!! And if I’m going to tell anyone to go home, it’ll be you, Mrs. Baker. YOU go home!! (Turns and exits into her apartment, closing door behind her. Mrs. Baker watches her go.)
Bright Star (2009)
The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you against the unpromising morning of my Life—My love has made me selfish.
— Letter from Keats to Fanny Brawne
Love Lies Bleeding
Wild Strawberries (1957)
But now he was an over-the-hill actor playing his younger self, and the setting was all wrong…
— Jonathan Rose, “The Literary Churchill”
Out of Touch
cf. photograph by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay (edit)
This is the debt I pay
Just for one riotous day,
Years of regret and grief,
Sorrow without relief.
Pay it I will to the end —
Until the grave, my friend,
Gives me a true release —
Gives me the clasp of peace.
Slight was the thing I bought,
Small was the debt I thought,
Poor was the loan at best —
God! but the interest!
— Paul Laurence Dunbar, The Debt
cf. photograph by Denis Streltsov via Pixabay (edit, modification and 3D recomposition by me)
OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul…
— William Ernest Henley, Invictus
Back In Black
cf. photograph by Pixabay via Pexels
There is an amazing bird:
its beak an old umbrella
its body nothing but empty tins
of corned beef and sardines.
It sees with the eyes
of a doll now broken and forgotten.
Its nest is a dump all smelly and rotten.
When the moon rises like a cradle in the sky,
the bird flies and sings and cries:
Sleepytimes, little sleepy heads
of those who have no food.
I am the angel of your dreams.
I am the birdsong of your sighs.
Ugly as I am,
all rusted and torn,
my song is sweet,
my friendship even sweeter.
Sleepytime, sleepytime, o beloved children.
I watch over babies who know no pillows,
over the little sleepyheads who have no suppers.
— Ramón C. Sunico, “The Tin Bird” (Tr. by the poet)
Man in the Mirror