(because it’s the last day of National Poetry Month)
You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine…-Jacques Crickillon
You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.
However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.
It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.
And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.
It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.
I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.
I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and–somehow–the wine.
So I gave my presentation on my senior thesis yesterday. I talked about how the controversy over the Married Women’s Property Act of 1870 influenced the characterization of the women in Trollope’s The Eustace Diamonds, which was written during the same period. And would you believe it, They want me to publish the damn thing. In a scholarly journal and everything.
As my mama says, hol-ee shit.
I don’t really know what to think about it. Yes, my thesis is damn good, and the speech was good, but the paper itself is crap, and needs to be re-written just for my course, never mind publication. It’s exciting and validating and terribly flattering, all the same. A ridiculously brilliant (and beautiful, incidentally) grad student (she got her master’s and PhD in five years) said she was really impressed by my work, and made recommendations and gave advice. She’s a Victorianist, so this is right up her alley. Talk about an ego boost.
But I also feel like publication, gratifying as it would be, would push me in a direction I’m not sure I want. Grad school, academia, that whole circus. When, at the moment, I feel exactly like I’ve been put through a meat grinder.
In any case, I went out with friends last night and got pleasantly numb. And today C. and I hit up a new used bookstore in town. I walked away with Susan Sontag’s The Volcano Lover (it’s got volcanoes, Lord Nelson, and Emma Hamilton! good times ahead), a fairy tale collection edited by Terri Windling, and I make it a rule to read anything with her name attached; Patricia A. McKillip’s Son for the Basilisk, mainly because of the nifty cover; Titus Groan, so I can finally finally start the Gormenghast trilogy.
And, lest you think all this unexpected academic success has gone to my head, I’m going to confess my dirtiest of secrets: They had a “buy four get the fifth free” deal, so I got Mary Balogh’s More than a Mistress.
Yes. That’s right. I read trashy Regency romances full of cliched hetero sex.
Her blue eyes were the sort a man could drown in–were it no for her impudence. She questioned his every move, breached his secrets, touched his soul. When he offered to set her up in his London town house, love was the last thing on his mind…
It’s so, so awful. I love it.
But I’ll redeem myself tonight by seeing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie, which will hopefully only sort of suck. And tomorrow night is more Miss Marple! She’s my new idol. When I enter Cranky Old Fart-dom, I want to be just like Jane Marple, knitting away, reading Raymond Chandler novels, and telling the police how to do their jobs.