A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Poem of the Day: A.E. Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now 
Is hung with bloom along the bough, 
And stands about the woodland ride 
Wearing white for Eastertide. 

Now, of my threescore years and ten, 
Twenty will not come again, 
And take from seventy springs a score, 
It only leaves me fifty more. 

And since to look at things in bloom 
Fifty springs are little room, 
About the woodlands I will go 
To see the cherry hung with snow.
--A.E. Housman 
To those of us who are tired of the bogosity of "threescore years and ten" and who may have just seen their seventieth spring, I offer this response by Emily Grosholz to Housman:

Putting On the Ritz 
(For William Jules-Yves) 

After a long, cool winter, 
at last in May a suite 
of warm days wakes the sleepers 

One covered from crown to root 
in thick crepe skirtlets stops 
me, back from hibernation: 

Loveliest of trees, 
big as the Ritz's balletic 
vases charged with bloom.

Not bought, not concocted, 
only improbably real. 
Why am I not surprised? 

My hair is snowed with silver, 
evidence how little room 
fifty springs allow. 

And yet midwinter someone 
burst to life inside me, 
and lately started dancing. 

Just so improbably 
snow hung along the branches 
changed suddenly to flowers. 
--Emily Grosholz

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