16 November 2008

Seasonal writing.

This brisk air of late lends itself readily to writing. I can see why there is so much poetry composed on the subject of the seasons... I'm thinking about this at the moment because I'm writing a paper on how winter is handled in the poetry of a few English Romantics - including one of my new faves, John Clare. So here's an appropriate poem written by Clare, the desperately poor peasant poet (with a tendency to misspell and leave out punctuation), called "Written in November":

Autumn I love thy latter end to view
In cold novembers day so bleak and bare
When like lifes dwindld thread worn nearly thro
Wi lingering pottering pace and head bleachd bare
Thou like an old man bids the world adieu
I love thee well and often when a child
Have roamd the bare brown heath a flower to find
And in the moss clad vale and wood bank wild
Have cropt the little bell flowers paley blue
That trembling peept the sheltering bush behind
When winnowing north winds cold and blealy blew
How have I joyd wi dithering hands to find
Each fading flower and still how sweet the blast
Woud bleak novembers hour Restore the joy thats past

When one's shivering out there, one's aware.

05 November 2008

It's quite a different nation this morning.

And how I first knew last night? It wasn't the early prediction from my manager, "I'm pretty sure Obama won," nor the reports coming in over the radio as eight o'clock, nine o'clock, ten o'clock rolled around.
It was the whoops of joy from men riding their bikes up and down streets for the sole purpose of letting all the tension of the past years out; it was unbroken stream of car horns through Dupont and celebratory "Obama!"s that broke the air at every stop when the bus doors opened; it was pyrotechnics in Columbia Heights and the smiles from passengers who felt less like strangers. It was pure parading in the streets by people who learned again what it was to believe in something.

We're waking up now, America...

02 November 2008

Noted to myself, on the bus.

  • Caught myself in a foolish line of thinking, one that won't come as much of a stretch for most Americans today. We'll buy items to serve a specific purpose, accumulating more and more, getting hooked on getting more, eventually become so depressed by the weight of it all and the sight of ourselves. It's illogical but we do it.
  • It's great getting a free ride on the bus. Hardly ever happens on Metrorail, though - their system is much more organized with the entry and exit gates.
  • So of course we're each burdened by our own afflictions, and that's not new. Read some good lit, burst into life, and ride your tide out. It's not that simple but it sure feels that way when you're young, and afraid of getting any older. Fame's not as important as experiencing as much as possible (whenever I read the Romantics, I want to get out and just wander). There's more to be found in getting low than reaching those heights sometimes.

Election Day is November 4th, this Tuesday! Go vote, do everything else afterwards. It's been such a long time coming that I'm pretty tired of election coverage and campaigning and opinion polls... and here's to hoping it won't take a month to get the results.