Saturday, April 30, 2005

Litany

(because it's the last day of National Poetry Month)

You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine...-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.

Billy Collins

So I gave my presentation on my senior thesis yesterday. I talked about how the controversy over the Married Women's Property Act of 1870 influenced the characterization of the women in Trollope's The Eustace Diamonds, which was written during the same period. And would you believe it, They want me to publish the damn thing. In a scholarly journal and everything.

As my mama says, hol-ee shit.

I don't really know what to think about it. Yes, my thesis is damn good, and the speech was good, but the paper itself is crap, and needs to be re-written just for my course, never mind publication. It's exciting and validating and terribly flattering, all the same. A ridiculously brilliant (and beautiful, incidentally) grad student (she got her master's and PhD in five years) said she was really impressed by my work, and made recommendations and gave advice. She's a Victorianist, so this is right up her alley. Talk about an ego boost.

But I also feel like publication, gratifying as it would be, would push me in a direction I'm not sure I want. Grad school, academia, that whole circus. When, at the moment, I feel exactly like I've been put through a meat grinder.

In any case, I went out with friends last night and got pleasantly numb. And today C. and I hit up a new used bookstore in town. I walked away with Susan Sontag's The Volcano Lover (it's got volcanoes, Lord Nelson, and Emma Hamilton! good times ahead), a fairy tale collection edited by Terri Windling, and I make it a rule to read anything with her name attached; Patricia A. McKillip's Son for the Basilisk, mainly because of the nifty cover; Titus Groan, so I can finally finally start the Gormenghast trilogy.

And, lest you think all this unexpected academic success has gone to my head, I'm going to confess my dirtiest of secrets: They had a "buy four get the fifth free" deal, so I got Mary Balogh's More than a Mistress.

Yes. That's right. I read trashy Regency romances full of cliched hetero sex.

Her blue eyes were the sort a man could drown in--were it no for her impudence. She questioned his every move, breached his secrets, touched his soul. When he offered to set her up in his London town house, love was the last thing on his mind...

It's so, so awful. I love it.

But I'll redeem myself tonight by seeing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie, which will hopefully only sort of suck. And tomorrow night is more Miss Marple! She's my new idol. When I enter Cranky Old Fart-dom, I want to be just like Jane Marple, knitting away, reading Raymond Chandler novels, and telling the police how to do their jobs.

6 Comments:

At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS ANNE!! Yay for your project going so well. And while you did not ask for my advice, here it is anyway. I think you should defintitely publish your work. Even if it is not the direction you want to go, it could help open other doors. By the way, are you coming back to St. Louis after graduation? When is your graduation? Good luck with finals!
~Katie K

 
At 12:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

after re-reading my comment...i beg your forgiveness. please remember that i am a science major, not a spelling major!
~Katie K again

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

Yeah, I'm starting to lean towards publication. It couldn't hurt, and if I don't do it I'll probably hate myself forever.

I'll be in Columbia this summer, but we totally need to hang out and have fun this summer! I think I'll email you my cell phone #.

 
At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Mags said...

w00t! Congratulations! You should definitely publish. :-)

Somebody just last week recommended The Volcano Lover, since I'm going to England for the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar and all.

 
At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Mags said...

P.S. What did you think of Hitchhiker? I kinda liked it, but didn't LURRRRVE it. Stephen Fry is a trip. I didn't like Trillian, but she's better than the "original" Trillian.

Oh, and did you watch Miss Marple? Did you see that Kitty Cobham is Jack Hammond's mother? My HH-fangirl head nearly exploded on that one. Oh, the fanfic possibilities. ;-)

 
At 9:59 PM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

GAH! Mags! Take me with you!! I wanna go to England! No fair! [/jealous]

But seriously, volcanoes. Nelson. Emma. All in one book! How can I resist? The fact that it's written by Sontag is just icing on the cake.

As for Hitchhiker, I did enjoy it. They messed up the plot, as expected. The casting for Zaphod and Arthur was spot-on, though. And Stephen Fry is totally my Boyfriend in a completely non-sexual way because I really don't think that would work out between us.
;-P

And Miss Marple! My god, yet another round of "6 Degrees of the BBC". I kept waiting for Kitty to bust out with that fabulous fake Scottish accent. *And* they had Rachel Stirling in the first one (*much* squealing and swooning, as you can imagine) and Keely Hawes in the second one. If Jodhi May is in the third mystery it'll be a Tipping the Velvet reunion.

Plus, I haven't read the book, but I think Miss M is definitely staying with a pair of closet cases. Be interesting to see how that plays out.

You should check out Branagh's adaptation of "Love's Labors Lost;" Geraldine McEwan sings "The Way You Look Tonight," it's so cute.

 

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