I can see the house on the hill where we make our own vegetables out back and drink warm wine out of jam jars and sing songs in the kitchen until the sun comes up wena you make me feel like myself again.
— Yrsa Daley-Ward, “sthandwa sami (my beloved, isiZulu)” (excerpt)
WHEN in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself, and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d, Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope, With what I most enjoy contented least; Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, Haply I think on thee,—and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate; For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
just before closing time i found myself in european sculpture and decorative arts lost in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries with so much to learn and you resplendently reverberant in a white blouse like an impressionist painting
I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it…
Gatsby, his hands still in his pockets, was reclining against the mantelpiece in a strained counterfeit of perfect ease, even of boredom. His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy who was sitting frightened but graceful on the edge of a stiff chair.
The horses started up, amid farewells and hand-wavings from the bystanders; and then, as Frau Chauchat sank smilingly back against the cushions of the sleigh, her eyes swept the facade of the Berghof, and rested for the fraction of a second upon Hans Castorp’s face. In pallid haste he sought his loggia, thence to get a last glimpse of the sleigh as it went jingling down the drive toward the Dorf. Then he flung himself into his chair…
The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight and turning my head to watch it I saw that I was not alone—fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbor’s mansion and was standing with his hands in his pockets regarding the silver pepper of the stars.
cf. photograph taken from video by cottonbro studio via Pexels
The highway is full of big cars going nowhere fast And folks is smoking anything that’ll burn Some people wrap their lies around a cocktail glass And you sit wondering where you’re going to turn I got it. Come. And be my baby.
FULL many a glorious morning have I seen Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, Kissing with golden face the meadows green, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy; Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rack on his celestial face, And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace: Even so my sun one early morn did shine, With all-triumphant splendour on my brow; But, out! alack! he was but one hour mine, The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now. Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth; Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.
THAT time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see’st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west; Which by and by black night doth take away, Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by. This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans, Coy looks with heart-sore sighs, one fading moment’s mirth With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights; If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain; If lost, why then a grievous labor won; How ever, but a folly bought with wit, Or else a wit by folly vanquishèd.
Admiringly, my liege. At first I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue; Where the impression of mine eye infixing, Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me, Which warped the line of every other favor, Scorned a fair color or expressed it stol’n, Extended or contracted all proportions To a most hideous object. Thence it came That she whom all men praised and whom myself, Since I have lost, have loved, was in mine eye The dust that did offend it.
TO me, fair friend, you never can be old For as you were when first your eye I ey’d, Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride, Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn’d In process of the seasons have I seen, Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn’d, Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green. Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand, Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv’d; So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand, Hath motion…
I remember the night the Green–Schwarz mechanism was discovered — It was a stormy summer night in 1984. The lightning that flashed across the equations on the blackboard also flashed across my curtains, two oranges on the dining room table, a Pat Metheny album on the blue shag carpet. I, too, thought I had solved something. I, too, thought I was free of anomalies. But the next day I still couldn’t figure it out.
I LEFT you in the morning, And in the morning glow, You walked a way beside me To make me sad to go. Do you know me in the gloaming, Gaunt and dusty grey with roaming? Are you dumb because you know me not, Or dumb because you know?
All for me? And not a question For the faded flowers gay That could take me from beside you For the ages of a day? They are yours, and be the measure Of their worth for you to treasure, The measure of the little while That I’ve been long away.
edited digital collage including photograph by Yoann Boyer via Unsplash
There’ll be that crowd to make men wild through all the centuries, And maybe there’ll be some young belle walk out to make men wild Who is my beauty’s equal, though that my heart denies, But not the exact likeness, the simplicity of a child, And that proud look as though she had gazed into the burning sun, And all the shapely body no tittle gone astray, I mourn for that most lonely thing; and yet God’s will be done, I knew a phoenix in my youth, so let them have their day.
“GOING to him! Happy letter! Tell him— Tell him the page I did n’t write; Tell him I only said the syntax, And left the verb and the pronoun out. Tell him just how the fingers hurried, Then how they waded, slow, slow, slow; And then you wished you had eyes in your pages, So you could see what moved them so.
“Tell him it was n’t a practised writer, You guessed, from the way the sentence toiled; You could hear the bodice tug, behind you, As if it held but the might of a child; You almost pitied it, you, it worked so. Tell him—No, you may quibble there, For it would split his heart to know it, And then you and I were silenter.
“Tell him night finished before we finished, And the old clock kept neighing ‘day!’ And you got sleepy and begged to be ended— What could it hinder so, to say? Tell him just how she sealed you, cautious, But if he ask where you are hid Until to-morrow,—happy letter! Gesture, coquette, and shake your head!”
The barge she sat in like a burnished throne Burned on the water. The poop was beaten gold, Purple the sails, and so perfumed that The winds were lovesick with them. The oars were silver, Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made The water which they beat to follow faster, As amorous of their strokes. For her own person, It beggared all description: she did lie In her pavilion—cloth-of-gold, of tissue— O’erpicturing that Venus where we see The fancy outwork nature. On each side her Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids, With divers-colored fans, whose wind did seem To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool, And what they undid did.
Kind are her answers, But her performance keeps no day; Breaks time, as dancers From their own music when they stray: All her free favors And smooth words wing my hopes in vain. O did ever voice so sweet but only feign? Can true love yield such delay, Converting joy to pain?
All day I tried to distinguish need from desire. Now, in the dark, I feel only bitter sadness for us, the builders, the planers of wood, because I have been looking steadily at these elms and seen the process that creates the writhing, stationary tree is torment, and have understood it will make no forms but twisted forms.
Yesterday the fields were only grey with scattered snow, And now the longest grass-leaves hardly emerge; Yet her deep footsteps mark the snow, and go On towards the pines at the hills’ white verge.
I cannot see her, since the mist’s white scarf Obscures the dark wood and the dull orange sky; But she’s waiting, I know, impatient and cold, half Sobs struggling into her frosty sigh.
Why does she come so promptly, when she must know That she’s only the nearer to the inevitable farewell; The hill is steep, on the snow my steps are slow – Why does she come, when she knows what I have to tell?
They have no song, the sedges dry, And still they sing. It is within my breast they sing, As I pass by. Within my breast they touch a string, They wake a sigh. There is but sound of sedges dry; In me they sing.
You smiled, you spoke, and I believed, By every word and smile deceived. Another man would hope no more; Nor hope I what I hoped before: But let not this last wish be vain; Deceive, deceive me once again!
SHALL I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st; So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
BENEDICK: Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted; and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love none.
BEATRICE: A dear happiness to women. They would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood I am of your humor for that. I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.