Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
T. S. Eliot
Four Quartets
Briunt Norton

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sonnet no 7 by William Shakespeare

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Then let not winter's ragged hand deface,
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distilled:
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
With beauty's treasure ere it be self-killed.
That use is not forbidden usury,
Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
That's for thy self to breed another thee,
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
Ten times thy self were happier than thou art,
If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
Then what could death do if thou shouldst depart,
Leaving thee living in posterity?
Be not self-willed, for thou art much too fair
To be death's conquest and make worms thine heir.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sonnet no 6: By William Shakespeare

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VI

Then let not winter's ragged hand deface,
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distilled:
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
With beauty's treasure ere it be self-killed.
That use is not forbidden usury,
Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
That's for thy self to breed another thee,
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
Ten times thy self were happier than thou art,
If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
Then what could death do if thou shouldst depart,
Leaving thee living in posterity?
Be not self-willed, for thou art much too fair
To be death's conquest and make worms thine heir.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sonnet no 5: By William Shakespeare

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Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Sap check'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o'ersnow'd and bareness every where:
Then, were not summer's distillation left,
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it nor no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distill'd though they with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sonnet no 4: By William Shakespeare

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Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
Upon thy self thy beauty's legacy?
Nature's bequest gives nothing, but doth lend,
And being frank she lends to those are free:
Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
The bounteous largess given thee to give?
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?
For having traffic with thy self alone,
Thou of thy self thy sweet self dost deceive:
Then how when nature calls thee to be gone,
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
Thy unused beauty must be tombed with thee,
Which, used, lives th' executor to be.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

W. H. Auden reads 'The Shield of Achilles' (1953)

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I do not have a favorite color but since I was in about twenty I have thought of Auden as my favorite poet. As I was putting together this post I realized that I have a natural affinity and affection for Auden because he closely resembles my maternal grandfather.
When I was in my early twenties I saw Auden appear as a guest on the Dick Cavett Show. I do not remember anything he said except one exchange near the end of his spot. Cavett said, "So, is there anything you would like to say while you're on?" In reply, Auden said that he wanted to complain about the NYT crossword puzzle clues. He felt that the clues were sometimes misleading and unfair.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I''ve Gone on Vacation





Light posting for a couple of weeds.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ by Thomas Gray

Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.