Saturday, June 27, 2015

Centennial Celebrations!

This month marks the 100th anniversary of T.S. Eliot publishing "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"!  This poem is my absolute favorite (ok, tied with the thematically similar "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats).  I've mentioned Prufrock on the blog before and even wrote a really fun, final paper on it this Winter.  It's so bizarre and beautiful and tragic and a perfect statement on the time.  

Here, from 0:00-0:24, Tom Hiddleston recites the haunting introduction [I seriously need his recitation of the whole poem!].  And here are just a few of my other favorite lines:

Rubbing its back upon the window panes;
There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands That lift and drop a question on your plate; Time for you and time for me, And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea...

Do I dare
Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all: Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons...
[I have this Obvious State print up in my kitchen]

I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

The childlike cadence used to convey the heavy, mythic philosophical themes is just marvelously profound to me!!  "Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery."  If you want to (re-)revel in some mystery, I'd suggest reading through T. S. Eliot's first poetic masterpiece

Thursday, June 18, 2015


"The first [romantic fantasy] can hit me anywhere, though it's most often when I'm watching television or I'm looking out the window of a train or subway, and it's that there is a head resting on my shoulder that must have been there the whole time that I haven't noticed until now. And in the fantasy, or because of the fantasy--it's hard to tell the difference--I suddenly feel this surge of something like the combination of safety and elation, knowing that every sight I see, no matter how small, is now important because it's shared. I don't need to look at the head on my shoulder & I never do. Because what's so important to me is not what the person looks like, but that we are seeing the same thing.

"The second fantasy is that a small child, about 4 years old, is crying because she's drawn all over the wall with her crayons & has just realized that what she has done is going to subject her to some unknown form of justice. I put on a serious face & explain to the child that her mother & I are going to discuss what her punishment should be. Then I close the door to another room and, with relief, I drop the serious face and laugh and kiss the young artist's mother and ask her what in the world we should do about this creature we made who wanted to put colors on the walls and is scared what we're going to say about it."

- BJ Novak, "Sophia," One More Thing

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Aside from Star Wars, this is the film I'm most looking forward to in 2015.  And the trailer is finally here:

I find this tragic, mainly for two reasons.  First off, what does it say about our society and about the industry that it's taken this long for a studio-backed retelling of the suffragette movement?  Universal suffrage (for women and people of color) is one of the most significant issues of human rights and yet we're only beginning to tell their stories with films like Selma and now Suffragette.  They faced atrocious horrors in striving toward these rights--and I do say striving not achieving as we still have work to do.  But that leads to the second reason this is so tragic: because we're still struggling over the same basic questions.  As Dorothy Sayers so bluntly put it Are Women Human?  And, though it's 2015, Suffragette reinforces, "I'm worth no more, no less than you."

But I also find it so very beautiful.  For the United States, August 18, 2017 will mark 100 years that women will have had the right to vote--making 2016 only the 25th presidential election women had any say in.  Long and not long at the same time, the right to vote can never be appreciated enough and the sacrifices it took to earn should never be forgotten.