Off Istiklal and up a winding street,
a dealer in antiques displays a pair
of dogs—enormous, placid, seated, bronze.
They frame the door which opens on a store
of artifice, of calm device to cheat
the past, which never dies. An étagère
reveals a wheel from Egypt, also bronze,
which purifies the soul, and a golden score
of vessels for the dying generations.
The dogs are blind and beautiful. A violet
moment hovers overhead, the evening
shadows fill with figured intimations.
O talismans, allusive amulets,
protect us from the dreadful closing in.
—Sidney Wade, “Bronze Dogs”
Photography Credit Jan Saudek
12:30 pm • 14 May 2013 • 122 notes
“Beauty, the world seemed to say. And as if to prove it (scientifically) wherever he looked at the houses, at the railings, at the antelopes stretching over the palings, beauty sprang instantly. To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round, yet always with perfect control as if elastics held them; and the flies rising and falling; and the sun spotting now this leaf, now that, in mockery, dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper; and now again some chime (it might be a motor horn) tinkling divinely on the grass stalks—all of this, calm and reasonable as it was, made out of ordinary things as it was, was the truth now; beauty, that was the truth now. Beauty was everywhere.”
―Virginia Woolf, “Mrs. Dalloway,” published on this day in 1925
11:44 am • 14 May 2013 • 332 notes
“Poetry is not a silent art. The poem must perform, unaided, in its reader’s head.”
— Christopher Logue
10:57 am • 14 May 2013 • 224 notes
“After sex, you curl up like a shrimp, something deep inside you ruined, slammed in a place that sickens at slamming, and slowly you fill up with an overwhelming sadness, an elusive gaping worry. You don’t try to explain it, filled with the knowledge that it’s nothing after all, everything filling up finally and absolutely with death. After the briskness of loving, loving stops. And you roll over with death stretched alongside you like a feather boa, or a snake, light as air, and you … you don’t even ask for anything or try to say something to him because it’s obviously your own damn fault. You haven’t been able to—to what? To open your heart. You open your legs but can’t, or don’t dare anymore, to open your heart.”
—Susan Minot, from “Lust”
Art Credit Sandra Gamarra
10:13 am • 14 May 2013 • 515 notes
“I am happy, but in debt … I have no job. My [U.S.] visa is out of order. There may be a war. But I have an epithalamion to write and cannot worry much.” A journal W. H. Auden kept in 1939, believed lost, has been found. (Not sure where; details are vague.) It will go to auction next month.
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.
9:30 am • 14 May 2013 • 114 notes
“By appealing to the reader’s emotions, Lewis exposed the moral center of the law. He had the good fortune to be covering the court at a moment when its social attitudes were in tune with his: the Warren Court not afraid to insert itself into national matters of civil rights, fair representation, and criminal justice. ‘Slowly but perceptibly,’ wrote Lewis, ‘the Court is taking up the role of conscience to the country.’ If Lewis envied the legal profession anything, it was the power to take action possessed even by the smallest lawyer in the lowest court.”
Joshua J. Friedman remembers legal journalist Anthony Lewis.
5:06 pm • 13 May 2013 • 32 notes
The sun is a drum
the moon is a cymbal
The flow of time is caught in a cup.
is cut; if not,
we should choke.
By night in the northern quarter the Dipper
or Northern Ladle or Bushel Measure
turns like the hand of a clock measuring time
although no punctuating tick or tock
notches its arc, sunset to sunrise.
Its handle divides the year into seasons,
pointing towards earth at dusk in autumn,
upward at dusk in spring, in winter
twilight west, in summer east.
And so it is and was and shall be
but not world without end (and neither
was it so from the world’s beginning).
—Mary Barnard, from “Song for the Northern Quarter”
Art Credit Christopher Pratt
4:13 pm • 13 May 2013 • 221 notes
We meet Mr Messy—a man whose entire day-to-day existence is the undiluted expression of his individuality. His very untidiness is a metaphor for his blissful and unselfconscious disregard for the Social Order. Yes, there are times when he himself is a victim of this individuality—as when he trips over a brush he has left on his garden path—but he goes through life with a smile on his face.
This series of reviews from 2010 is, in a word, brilliant.
2:53 pm • 13 May 2013 • 188 notes
“The only thing left will be the prose and poems, the books, what is written down. Man was very fortunate to have invented the book. Without it the past would completely vanish, and we would be left with nothing, we would be naked on earth.”
— James Salter
1:45 pm • 13 May 2013 • 252 notes
“The clouds split and the sky brims over with light—it pours onto them, glazing the surface of the picnic table, the backs of their hands, the wet, carved bowls of the melon rinds. Everything feels very tenuous, just then, and terribly beautiful, as if he is straddling two worlds, the one he came from and the one he is going to. He wonders if this is what it was like for his mother, in the moments before she died, if she saw the same kind of light, if she felt like anything was possible.
“Belle has reclaimed her hands and is pointing somewhere far off, somewhere over the horizon. Home, she signs. You are going home.”
—Anthony Doerr, from “The Caretaker”
Photography Credit Lesley Ann Ercolano
1:00 pm • 13 May 2013 • 97 notes