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, March 3, 2010

Poems of the Day: Robert Herrick

The Night Piece, to Julia 

Her eyes the glowworm lend thee; 
The shooting stars attend thee; 
     And the elves also, 
     Whose little eyes glow 
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee. 

No will-o'-the-wisp mislight thee; 
Nor snake or slowworm bite thee; 
     But on, on thy way, 
     Not making a stay, 
Since ghost there's none to affright thee. 

Let not the dark thee cumber; 
What though the moon does slumber? 
     The stars of the night 
     Will lend thee their light, 
Like tapers clear without number. 

Then, Julia, let me woo thee, 
Thus, thus to come unto me; 
     And when I shall meet 
     Thy silvery feet, 
My soul I'll pour into thee. 

Upon Julia's Clothes 

Whenas in silks my Julia goes, 
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows 
That liquefaction of her clothes. 
Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see 
That brave vibration, each way free, 
O, how that glittering taketh me! 
--Robert Herrick

Are there more accomplished love poems in English than Herrick's? Has anyone better evoked the sound and feel of silk? Has anyone better skirted the boundaries of explicitness? (Of course, I have to recall the experience of a friend who assigned her class "Upon Julia's Clothes" and got this paraphrase: "When Herrick sees Julia wearing silk, he has a liquefaction in his clothes.") I picked two poems today because I couldn't choose which one I liked more.