cf. video by @jaygeebug
cf. Prelinger Archives, “Home Movie” (ca. 1963)
THE SENSE of the world is short,—
Long and various the report,—
To love and be beloved;
Men and gods have not outlearned it;
And, how oft soe’er they ’ve turned it,
Not to be improved.
O SOVEREIGN power of love! O grief! O balm!
All records, saving thine, come cool, and calm,
And shadowy, through the mist of passed years:
For others, good or bad, hatred and tears
Have become indolent; but touching thine,
One sigh doth echo, one poor sob doth pine,
One kiss brings honey-dew from buried days.
The woes of Troy, towers smothering o’er their blaze,
Stiff-holden shields, far-piercing spears, keen blades,
Struggling, and blood, and shrieks—all dimly fades
Into some backward corner of the brain;
Yet, in our very souls, we feel amain
The close of Troilus and Cressid sweet.
Hence, pageant history! hence, gilded cheat!
Swart planet in the universe of deeds!
Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds
Along the pebbled shore of memory!…
— Book II
Welt am Draht (1973)
cf. Video by Bassman5420 via Pixabay (edited and modified by me)
When divine Art conceives a form and face,
She bids the craftsman for his first essay
To shape a simple model in mere clay:
This is the earliest birth of Art’s embrace.
From the live marble in the second place
His mallet brings into the light of day
A thing so beautiful that who can say
When time shall conquer that immortal grace?
Thus my own model I was born to be–
The model of that nobler self, whereto
Schooled by your pity, lady, I shall grow.
Each overplus and each deficiency
You will make good. What penance then is due
For my fierce heat, chastened and taught by you?
— Michelangelo, The Model And The Statue
cf. Home Movie
He was standing with her in the cold, looking in through a grated window at a man making bottles in a roaring furnace. It was very cold. Her face, fragrant in the cold air, was quite close to his; and suddenly he called out to the man at the furnace:
“Is the fire hot, sir?”
But the man could not hear with the noise of the furnace. It was just as well. He might have answered rudely.
— Joyce, The Dead
cf. Brief Encounter (1945)
“All of a sudden everything was over,” Nick said. “I don’t know why it was. I couldn’t help it. Just like when the three-day blows come now and rip all the leaves off the trees.”
…The big thing was that Marjorie was gone and that probably he would never see her again. He had talked to her about how they would go to Italy together and the fun they would have. Places they would be together. It was all gone now.
— Ernest Hemingway, “The Three-Day Blow”
video by Coverr-Free-Footage via Pixabay
For spring-time is here! the summer is here! and what is this
in it and from it?
Thou, soul, unloosen’d—the restlessness after I know not what;
Come, let us lag here no longer, let us be up and away!
O if one could but fly like a bird!
O to escape, to sail forth as in a ship!
To glide with thee O soul, o’er all, in all, as a ship o’er the waters…
—Walt Whitman, Warble For Lilac-Time
cf. video by Sixstringplayer via Pixabay (edited collage)
cf. American Mutoscope and Biograph Co., “Foxy Grandpa and Polly in a little hilarity” (1902)
cf. MPO Productions, “Design for Dreaming” (1956) (Digital Edit)
cf. video by Coverr-Free-Footage via Pixabay
And now, my Marian, from its shackles free,
My wearied fancy turns for ease to thee;
To thee, my compass through life’s varied stream,
My constant object, and unfailing theme…
—Warren Hastings, “Ode to his Wife” (Written in Patna, 1784)
cf. LIFE, 1972
Girl Shy (1924)
Lady Bracknell: A hand-bag?
—Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
Took a sleeping pill and I tried to watch TV
But you know baby, the leading lady
Looked too much like you for the likes of me…
A Christmas Carol (1984)
…at night, if I succeeded in going to sleep, then it was as though the memory of Albertine had been the drug that had procured my sleep, whereas the cessation of its influence would awaken me. I thought all the time of Albertine while I was asleep. It was a special sleep of her own that she gave me, and one in which, moreover, I should no longer have been at liberty, as when awake, to think of other things. Sleep and the memory of her were the two substances which I must mix together and take at one draught in order to put myself to sleep.
—Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
“I too am sometimes sad and lonely, especially when I walk around a church or parsonage.
Let’s not give in, but try to be patient and gentle. And do not mind being eccentric…”
–Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh, March 16, 1877
cf. Home Movie
One that is ever kind said yesterday:
“Your well beloved’s hair has threads of grey,
And little shadows come about her eyes;
Time can but make it easier to be wise,
Though now it’s hard, till trouble is at an end;
And so be patient, be wise and patient, friend.”
But heart, there is no comfort, not a grain;
Time can but make her beauty over again,
Because of that great nobleness of hers;
The fire that stirs about her, when she stirs
Burns but more clearly. O she had not these ways,
When all the wild Summer was in her gaze.
O heart! O heart! if she’d but turn her head,
You’d know the folly of being comforted.
–Yeats, The Folly of Being Comforted
Harder than you would think because of the octave shifts!
cf. Home Movie PA 000111 and photograph by Kevin Lee via Unsplash
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending…
–T.S. Eliot, The Dry Salvages
Your mother named you. You and she just saw
Each other in passing in the room upstairs,
One coming this way into life, and one
Going the other out of life—you know?
So you can’t have much recollection of her.
She had been having a long look at you.
She put her finger in your cheek so hard
It must have made your dimple there, and said,
‘Maple.’ I said it too: ‘Yes, for her name.’
She nodded. So we’re sure there’s no mistake.
I don’t know what she wanted it to mean,
But it seems like some word she left to bid you
Be a good girl—be like a maple tree.
How like a maple tree’s for us to guess…
–Robert Frost, Maple (excerpt)
cf. Edward Hopper, Nighthawks (detail) (1942) and Detour (1945)
Your eyes that once were never weary of mine
Are bowed in sorrow under pendulous lids,
Because our love is waning.
–William Butler Yeats, Ephemera (excerpt)
You’re leaving now
It’s in your eyes…
cf. Cincinnati Magazine, 1990
A Stranger came to the door at eve,
And he spoke the bridegroom fair.
He bore a green-white stick in his hand,
And, for all burden, care.
He asked with the eyes more than the lips
For a shelter for the night,
And he turned and looked at the road afar
Without a window light.
The bridegroom came forth into the porch
With, ‘Let us look at the sky,
And question what of the night to be,
Stranger, you and I.’
The woodbine leaves littered the yard,
The woodbine berries were blue,
Autumn, yes, winter was in the wind;
‘Stranger, I wish I knew.’
Within, the bride in the dusk alone
Bent over the open fire,
Her face rose-red with the glowing coal
And the thought of the heart’s desire.
The bridegroom looked at the weary road,
Yet saw but her within,
And wished her heart in a case of gold
And pinned with a silver pin.
The bridegroom thought it little to give
A dole of bread, a purse,
A heartfelt prayer for the poor of God,
Or for the rich a curse;
But whether or not a man was asked
To mar the love of two
By harboring woe in the bridal house,
The bridegroom wished he knew.
–Robert Frost, Love and a Question
How could love be so wrong?
I don’t know why…
cf. Thomas Eakins, The Thinker: Portrait of Louis N. Kenton (1900) and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
Your memory seems like a living thing
I never know if I’m imagining
I look at your face and I know that it’s impossible
Forgetting it’s just a dream
Now I’m hearing your voice saying anything is possible
Forgetting it’s just a dream…
Claude Monet, Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies (1899) and That Junior Miss Spirit : GM Photographic
8 1/2 (1963)
Who will go drive with Fergus now,
And pierce the deep wood’s woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fear no more.
And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love’s bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all dishevelled wandering stars.
—W. B. Yeats, Who goes with Fergus?
His head halted again for a moment at the top of the staircase, level with the roof:
Don’t mope over it all day, he said. I’m inconsequent. Give up the moody brooding.
His head vanished but the drone of his descending voice boomed out of the stairhead:
And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love’s bitter mystery
For Fergus rules the brazen cars.
—James Joyce, Ulysses
cf. Photograph by Christian Koch via Unsplash
So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years-
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres-
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate – but there is no competition –
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
—T. S. Eliot, East Coker (excerpt)
cf. Photos by Brandon Morgan (sky), Etienne Desclides (car) and Roksolana Zasiadko (woman) via Unsplash
I remember what my father said–
He said “Son, life is simple,
It’s either cherry red or
All That Heaven Allows (1955)
“Lay long with pleasure talking with my wife, in whom I never had greater content, blessed be God! than now…”
—The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday, November 2, 1662
cf. Eva Watson Schütze, The May Apple Leaf (ca. 1900) and
MiniPCEU, Time Lapse 1080p – Sky, sun, halo, clouds – YouTube
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.
cf. Edward Hopper, Nighthawks (1942)
cf. Photograph by Adrian Williams via Unsplash
cf. Burk Uzzle, Broad Street, Philadelphia (1981)
cf. Sebastian Ortiz Vasquez, Walking Wall St. NY – YouTube
Shining cratefuls of plum, peach, apricot
Are flung out of the fruit man’s tiny store.
Behind the supermarket glass next door:
Landslides of grapefruit, orange, tangerine,
Persimmon, boysenberry, nectarine.
The florist tilts his giant crayon box
Of yellow roses, daffodils, and phlox.
A Disney sun breaks through, makes toys of trucks
And waddling movers look like Donald Ducks
And joke book captions out of storefront signs:
Café du Soir, Austrian Village, Wines.
Pedestrians in olive drabs and grays
Are startled by the sun’s kinetic rays,
Then mottled into pointillistic patches.
The light turns green, cars passing hurl out snatches
Of rock-and-roll and Mozart and the weather.
The light turns red. Why aren’t we together?
–Frederick Feirstein, “Mark Stern Wakes Up” from New and Selected Poems (Story Line Press)
On every crowded street
All the places we would meet
What will I do without you?
They say that life goes on
I’m feeling sorry for myself
I can’t belive you’re gone…
Photograph by Daniela Cuevas via Unsplash
and Arnstein Bjone, The Atlantic Ocean Road / Atlanterhavsveien, dashcam video, Norway – YouTube
Thomas A. Edison, Inc., Charity ball (1897)
Somehow, the summer seemed to slip by faster this time. Maybe it wasn’t this summer, but all the summers that, in this my fortieth summer, slipped by so fast. There comes a time when every summer will have something of autumn about it. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me that I was investing more and more in baseball, making the game do more of the work that keeps time fat and slow and lazy.
–A. Bartlett Giamatti, “The Green Fields of the Mind” (excerpt)
cf. Henri Lebasque, In Front of the Window, Ile d’Yeu (1919) and Tuck Happiness, Summer in Helsinki 2012 Timelapse – YouTube
“Planning to pay him out she tiptoed very early the next morning into Lytton’s bedroom, taking a pair of scissors with which she intended to snip away his beard while he slept. It was to be one of those devastating practical jokes of which she was so fond – a perfect revenge for his audacity. But the plan misfired. As she leant over him, Lytton opened his eyes and looked at her. It was a moment of curious intimacy, and she, who hypnotized so many others, was suddenly hypnotized herself.”
—Michael Holroyd, Lytton Strachey: The New Biography
She’s a wizard with her sheers
She’s been turning heads for years…
cf. Sir William Quiller Orchardson, On the North Foreland (1890) and Windy day on the beach – YouTube
cf. photograph by Janina Meyer via Unsplash and ocean waves storm wind rough sea – YouTube
cf. John Singer Sargent, Landscape with Women in Foreground (detail) (Oil on canvas) (ca. 1883)
and Summer field Time Lapse – YouTube
cf. John Singer Sargent, A Waterfall (ca. 1910) and Ogwen waterfall, North Wales – YouTube
Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue…