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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Poem of the Day: Theodore Roethke

I Knew a Woman 


I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, 
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them; 
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one: 
The shapes a bright container can contain! 
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak, 
Or English poets who grew up on Greek 
(I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek). 

How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin, 
She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand; 
She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin; 
I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand; 
She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake, 
Coming behind her for her pretty sake 
(But what prodigious mowing we did make). 

Love likes a gander, and adores a goose: 
Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize; 
She played it quick, she played it light and loose; 
My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees; 
Her several parts could keep a pure repose, 
Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose 
(She moved in circles, and those circles moved). 

Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay: 
I'm martyr to a motion not my own; 
What's freedom for? To know eternity. 
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone. 
But who would count eternity in days? 
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways: 
(I measure time by how a body sways).
--Theodore Roethke 
I don't think any twentieth-century poet caught the spirit of Donne or Marvell or Herrick better than Roethke did in this wonderful, sexy poem. 

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