Monday, February 16, 2015


A tap of your finger on the drum releases all sounds and initiates the new harmony.
         A step of yours is the conscription of the new men and their marching orders.
         You look away: the new love!
         You look back,---the new love!
        "Change our fates, shoot down the plagues, beginning with time," the children sing to you. "Build wherever you can the substance of our fortunes and our wishes," they beg you.
        Arriving from always, you'll go away everywhere.

 Rimbaud, Les Illuminations

Monday, March 17, 2014

I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Where is Lysander and fair Hermia? 
The one I'll stay, the other stayeth me. 
Thou told'st me they were stol'n unto this wood. 
And here am I, and wood within this wood, 
Because I cannot meet my Hermia. 
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more. 

You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant. 
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
Is true as steel. Leave you your power to draw, 
And I shall have no power to follow you. 

Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair? 
Or rather, do I not in plainest truth 
Tell you I do not, nor I cannot, love you?

And even for that do I love you the more. 
I am your spaniel. And, Demetrius, 
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you. 
Use me but as your spaniel--spurn me, strike me, 
Neglect me, lose me. Only give me leave, 
Unworthy as I am, to follow you. 
What worser place can I beg in your love---
And yet a place of high respect with me--
Than to be used as you use your dog? 

Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit. 
For I am sick when I do look on thee. 

And I am sick when I look not on you. 

You do impeach your modesty too much, 
To leave the city and commit yourself 
Into the hands of one that loves you not, 
To truth the opportunity of night 
And the ill counsel of a desert place
With the rich worth of your virginity. 

Your virtue is my privilege. For that
It is not nigh when I do see your face. 
Therefore I think I am not in the night. 
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company, 
For you in my respect are all the world. 
Then how can it be said I am alone 
When all the world is here to look on me? 

I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes, 
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts. 

The wildest hath not such a heart as you. 
Run when you will, the story shall be changed. 
Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase. 
The dove pursues the griffin. The mild hind 
Makes speech to catch the tiger--bootless speed, 
When cowardice pursues and valor flies. 

I will not stay thy questions. Let me go. 
Or if thou follow me, do not believe 
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood. 

Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field 
You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex. 
We cannot fight for love as men may do. 
We should be wooed and were not make to woo. 


I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell, 
To die upon the hand I love so well. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

WERTHER: Pourquoi trembler devant la mort... devant la nôtre? On lève le rideau, puis on passe de l'autre côté! Voilà ce qu'on nomme mourir. Offensons-nous le ciel en cessant de souffrir? Lorsque l'enfant revient d'un voyage avant l'heure, bien loin de lui garder quelque ressentiment, au seul bruit de ses pas tressaille la demeure, et le père joyeux l'embrasse longuement. O Dieu qui m'as créé, serais-tu moins clément?

Why be afraid of death? Of your own grief? Would not a father welcome his son from his journey although he has returned before the appointed time? When he crosses the threshold everyone rejoices, and his happy father takes him in his loving arms. Oh God, my own creator, would you be less kind?

Frederica Von Stade and Alfredo Kraus in the final scene of Massenet's Werther

 CHARLOTTE: Les larmes qu'on ne pleure pas dans notre aime retombent toutes, et de leurs patientes gouttes martelent le coeur triste et las. 

 Because the tears we do not shed must remain within our spirit, their steady, never-ending flowing keeps wounding the heart more and more. It can't recover, resists no longer, it must succumb and fail at last.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Barbara Song

I used to believe in the days I was pure, and I was pure as you used to be. My wonderful someone would come to me someday and then it would all depend on me. If he's a good man, if he's a rich man, wears a fine cravat, smokes a cigar, and if he's good and treats me like a lady, then I shall tell him, "Sorry." 

Chin up high, keep your powder dry, don't be lax or go too far. Oh, the moon is gonna shine 'til dawn, keep that little rowboat cruising on and on. You stay perpendicular.

Oh, you can't just let a man walk over you. Cold and dignified is what you are. Such a whole lot of things can happen, so firmly say, but sweetly, "Sorry."

The first to appear was a young man from Kent, he was all that a man ought to be. The second was older and bolder, I mean, and the third was crazy mad for me. They were all rich men, they were all fine men, wore silk cravats, smoked a big cigar, and since they all made me feel a perfect lady, I said politely, "Sorry."

I would sigh, keep my chin up high, never relaxed or went too far. Oh, I let the moon go shining on, I let that narrow rowboat cruise around 'til dawn. I stayed perpendicular. I could not just let a man walk over me, perhaps my dignity went rather far. Such an interesting lot of things might have happened. I simply indicated, "Sorry."

One day comes a man, but what kind of a man knows why he does what he does. He walked into my room, and he hung up his hat, and I just didn't know where I was. He was a lean man, he was a mean man, didn't own a cravat, smoked no cigar. And God knows he never made me feel a lady. There just wasn't time for "Sorry."Chin up high, my chin was down my shoes, and I relaxed but far too far. Oh, the way the moon kept shining on, the night was nigh for rowing and this girl was gone. Not so perpendicular.

So you let a man just walk right over you, who said dignified is what you are? Such a wonderful lot of terrible things did happen, and now it's you who can tell me sorry.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Nowadays the world is lit by lightning

JIM: People are not so dreadful when you know them. That's what you have to remember! And everybody has problems, not just you, but practically everybody has got some problems. You think of yourself as having the only problems, as being the only one who is disappointed. But just look around you and you will see lots of people as disappointed as you are. 

JIM: My signature isn't worth very much right now. But some day - maybe - it will increase in value! Being disappointed is one thing and being discouraged is something else. I am disappointed but I am not discouraged. I'm twenty-three years old. How old are you? 

JIM: Unicorns, aren't they extinct in the modern world? 

LAURA: I know!

JIM: Poor little fellow, he must feel sort of lonesome. 

LAURA: [smiling] Well, if he does he doesn't complain about it. He stays on a shelf with some horses that don't have horns and all of them seem to get along nicely together. 

JIM: How do you know? 

LAURA: [lightly] I haven't heard any arguments among them!

JIM: [grinning] No arguments, huh? Well, that's a pretty good sign! Where shall I set him?

LAURA: Put him on the table. They all like a change of scenery once in a while!

JIM: [stretching] Well, well, well. Look how big my shadow is when I stretch!

Monday, February 17, 2014

So quick bright things come into confusion 

Ay me! For aught that I could ever read, 
Could ever hear by tale or history, 
The course of true love never did run smooth. 
But either it was different in blood---

O cross! Too high to be enthralled to low. 

Or else misgraffed in respect of years---

O spite! Too old to be engaged to young. 

Or else it stood upon the choice of friends--

O hell, to choose love by another's eyes!

Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, 
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it, 
Making it momentary as a sound, 
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream, 
Brief as the lightning in the collied night; 
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and Earth, 
And ere a man hath power to say "Behold!"
The jaws of darkness do devour it up 
So quick bright things come to confusion. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further … 

I just finished rereading The Great Gatsby, which I haven't read since I was a second year in high school. It was tedious for me at the time; now I read it in three days and I feel filled with thought. 

Why does Daisy not acknowledge Gatsby's death? Fitzgerald goes to such extents to describe her as someone and something alluring and charming in the most sincere ways --- a voice which sings when she speaks, whispers to you, and is playful with those around her. Daisy is a constant breath of fresh air, intrigue, and innocence, but then she suddenly disappears in the second half of the story, after Gatsby tells her husband Tom that she is leaving him. She obviously decides to stay with him, but why? The comfort of time and experience? Why does she ignore Gatsby's death altogether…. She never even tells her husband that it was her driving the car; instead she allows him to tell Wilson that it was Gatsby driving it. 

Nick has got to be one of my favorite narrators in all of literature. I love that when he sees Tom at the end of the novel, knowing that he is the cause of the recent grim events and that he is a gross coward, he still shakes his hand. 

"I couldn't forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money and their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made …. I shook hands with him; it seemed silly not to, for I felt suddenly as though I were talking to a child." 

There are so many times where I have thought this to myself. Sometimes you want to change people, but you can't, and you have to just accept their mentality. 

In the end, Nick is left alone. The woman he thought he loved left him after a small quarrel, his friends are not what they seemed, and the one man he doubted but couldn't help but feel bound to was Gatsby. It reminds me that even if we live our lives honestly, like Nick does, that we can lose what we have around us like a drop of a hat. And you can't change that. You can only keep moving forward, stretching your arms out, looking to the green light of the past and searching for something more in the future …