In Her Shoes.

I’ve read a couple of Jennifer Weiner’s books (Good in Bed and Little Earthquates), with posts on those back in 2005 before I started using a real blogging platform.  This movie is based on one of her books I have not read, and I thought it would be a good one to watch vs. read and/or watch and read.  After the 1st 30 or 45 minutes, I thought it was going to be terrible!  About that time is when Maggie (Cameron Diaz) goes to FL and meets her Grandma (Shirley MacClaine).   It got much better after that.

There were a couple of poems in it that I thought I would include here.

One Art

— Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

I carry your heart

— e. e. cummings
I carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
not fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

The Law for the Wolves. Rudyard Kipling.

Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

Wash daily from nose tip to tail tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting and forget not the day is for sleep.

The jackal may follow the tiger, but, cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the wolf is a hunter—go forth and get food of thy own.

Keep peace with the lords of the jungle, the tiger, the panther, the bear;
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the boar in his lair.

When pack meets with pack in the jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken; it may be fair words shall prevail.

When ye fight with a wolf of the pack ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel and the pack is diminished by war.

The lair of the wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the head wolf may enter, not even the council may come.

The lair of the wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.

If ye kill before midnight be silent and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop and thy brothers go empty away.

Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill man.

If ye plunder his kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride,
Pack-right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.

The kill of the pack is the meat of the pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.

The kill of the wolf is the meat of the wolf. He may do what he will,
But, till he is given permission, the pack may not eat of that kill.

Lair right is the right of the mother. From all of her years she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.

Cub right is the right of the yearling. From all of his pack he may claim
Full gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.

Cave right is the right of the father, to hunt by himself for his own;
He is freed from all calls to the pack. He is judged by the council alone.

Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the law leaveth open the word of the head wolf is law.

Now these are the laws of the jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the law and the haunch and the hump is—Obey!

The sun, whose rays are all ablaze

I watched the movie “Brick” the other night, a film of the film-noir genre. I liked the movie, but there was one part where the lead female reads part of a poem while playing the piano. It stuck with me, so I searched around and found it is actually a snippet from an old opera called The Mikado.

Here is the whole poem/aria:
The sun, whose rays are all ablaze

Yum-yum’s aria from The Mikado

The sun, whose rays are all ablaze with ever-living glory,
does not deny his majesty–he scorns to tell a story!
He don’t exclaim, “I blush for shame, so kindly be indulgent”;
but fierce and bold, in fiery gold, he glories all effulgent.

I mean to rule the earth, as he the sky–
We really know our worth, the sun and I!

Observe his flame, that placid dame, the moon’s celestial highness;
There’s not a trace upon her face of diffidence or shyness:
She borrows light, that, through the night, mankind may all acclaim her!
And, truth to tell, she lights up well; So I, for one, don’t blame her.

Ah, pray make no mistake, we are not shy;
We’re very wide awake, the moon and I!

I may just have to buy the music from iTunes here.

The Eloping Angles: a caprice

[I’ll write more on this later… Just want to get it posted separately because it is so long… ]

The Eloping Angels: a caprice

by William Watson
London: Elkin, Mathews and John Lane: Vigo Street c1893

To Grant Allen an only too generous appreciator of my verse I dedicate this poem knowing that he will recognize beneath its somewhat hazardous levity a spirit not wholly flippant such as can alone justify its inscription to a serious lover of the Muse

Written in September and October 1892

FAUST, on a day, and Mephistopheles,
In the dead season, were supremely bored.
‘ What shall we do, our jaded souls please ? ‘
Said Faust to his Familiar and his lord.
‘ All Pleasures have we tasted at our ease,
All byways of all sin have we explored.
What shall we do, our jaded souls to please ? ‘
‘ Ah, what indeed ? ‘ said Mephistopheles.


To whom thus Faust: ‘ My Mephisto, thou art
A devil of exceedingly rich resource;
Hast in thy time played every human part,
And braved the shafts of archangelic Force;
Thou carriest lightly in thy brain a chart
Of all the worlds, and every planet’s course;
Canst not procure us, by thy wit’s rare power,
Admission into heaven for half-an-hour ?

‘ Thou know’st the approaches well; didst learn to scale
The starriest heights, in thy distinguished Past:
The Seraphim as comrades thou couldst hail,
And with Saint Peter an old friendship hast.
Some private influence surely would avail,
Joined with the prestige of thy name and caste.
‘ Twould mightily amuse me, I declare,
For once to see how wags the world up there. ‘

Then Mephisto : ‘ You vastly underrate
The hazards and the dangers, my good Sir.
Peter is stony as his name ; the gate,
Excepting to invited guests, won’t stir.
‘ Tis long since he and I were intimate :
We differed ; but to bygones we refer ?
However, there’s no want of windows ; you
Could get a glimpse of heaven by peeping through. ‘

So, on the wings of magic power, these twain
Ascended through the steep and giddy night ;
And soon this earth and all it doth contain
Shrank to a point of hesitating light,
Till, as they climbed those altitudes inane,
The battlements celestial dawned in sight,
And domes and turrets made one golden gleam
Splendid beyond all splendour born of dream.

Unto a window in the heavenly wall,
A casement open to the night, they came,
When Mephisto addressed his charge and thrall :
‘ This sort of prank, to me, is rather tame,
And my concern with Paradise is small :
My int’rests lie elsewhere ; but all the same,
You, as a stranger, might do worse than cast
A glance inside : most probably, your last. ‘

‘ Soft ! ‘ answered Faust, ‘ I hear a voice within,
An if it be not some enamoured youth
Breathing warm words a maiden’s heart to win,
Like any mortal wooer, in good sooth
Thou’rt not the great artificer of sin,
Nor I a seeker after hidden truth.
Nay, sure enough-look !-what a charming pair !
Such eyes she has ! And that auroral hair ! ‘

Faust had not erred. These angels were indeed
Two human lovers, who, by sudden fate,
Full early from the yoke of life being freed,
Renewed their vows in that celestial state.
Now Faust, although immoral, was, I need
Hardly affirm, a gentleman. ‘ I hate, ‘
He said, ‘ to play the spy at scenes like this. ‘
So he coughed loudly on their whispering bliss.

‘ Immoral Spirits ! Beatitudes divine !
Behold, ‘ he said, ‘ two wanderers from that star
Whence haply ye too hail : whose glories shine
Lost in deep space, so faint and pail they are.
If ye will graciously an ear incline,
And parley with us travellers from afar,
Fain would we learn such news as my be given
Of what-in short-is going on in heaven. ‘


‘ Friends, for such tidings ye in vain apply
To me, ‘ the radiant Youth Angelic said.
We lead a life withdrawn, this maid and I,
Nor love the life by other angels led-
All idle hymns of praise to the Most High.
Our one supreme desire is to be wed,
And we were even now concerting schemes
How to escape and realise our dreams.

‘ For here in heaven no marrying is, nor yet
Giving in marriage, and we dwell debarred
From that full tie whereon our heart are set-
An inhibition surely somewhat hard.
One only hindrance-a most serious let-
Doth still the moment of our flight retard :
To wit, this garb angelic, which on earth
Would comment cause, and haply move to mirth. ‘


‘ No bar at all ! ‘ quoth Mephisto the shrewd.
‘ You shall change wardrobes with my friend and me.
Our earthly vesture when you have endued,-
‘ Tis somewhat picturesque, as you may see,-
Across the interstellar solitude
Safely to earth (dear planet !) you shall flee.
You have my blessing, both of you. And now
We will effect the exchange, if you’ll allow. ‘

Merely to will, when spirit with spirit deals,
Is to perform. The bargain once being made,
Faust, in a thought, appears head to heels
Clad in the garments of the angel-maid,
She in his own ; the devil quite pious feels,
In garb of heavenly becomingly arrayed ;
While the Bright Lover clothes divine desire
In most unhallowed and unblest attire.

So Faust and his companion entered, by
The window, the abodes where seraphs dwell.
‘ Already morning quickens in the sky,
And soon will sound the heavenly matin-bell ;
Our time is short, ‘ said Mephisto, ‘ for I
Have an appointment about noon in hell.
Dear, dear ! why, heaven has hardly changed one bit
SInce the old days before the historic split. ‘

But leave we now this enterprising pair,
Faust the explorer, Mephisto the guide,
And follow yon bright fugitives in their
Ethereal journey whither mortals bide.
Across the wastes of space and fields of air
Tireless they sped, and soon this orb descried,
Hung like a fairy lamp with timid gleam
From the great branches of the Solar Scheme.

She, on the earth, a village girl, and he
A prince had been. ‘ Twas pure romance of love,
Idyllic and ideal as could be,
All policy and prudence far above.
And when he fell in glorious battle, she
Could not survive him, poor, white, mateless dove !
And now on earth they stepped once more, and met
The ghosts of old dead kissed deathless yet.

‘ Twas morn. The lark was making for the sky
The ploughman was returning to his plough.
‘ Unto my father’s palace we will fly, ‘
Said the angelic Prince. ‘ Another, now,
Sits on his throne, but loyally will I
Serve him, and gladly to his sceptre bow ;
And us, I doubt not, he will entertain,
And cheerly bid us welcome home again. ‘


So, to the royal palace having flown,
And in no form or due observance failed,
With mien of homage they approached the throne ;
But the poor craven king in terror quailed,
Shrieking : ‘ More spectres ! Out, ye sprites, begone !
Have all my exorcists not yet availed
To rid me of these ghostly plagues that make
Life dreadful, if I sleep or if I wake ? ‘

Then, with sad eyes compassionate, the twain
Faded from out the presence, nothing loth
The presence of the fields and skies to gain.
And she, the queen of his rich love and troth,
Spake very softly : ‘ Dearest, wilt though deign
To seek my father’s cottage, where for both
Shall room and welcome be ? for he doth own
A heart more royal than thy kinsman’s throne. ‘

Unto her father’s cot they took their way.
They found him leaning on his gate, white-haired,
Full of the memory of a former day.
Calmly he greeted them, like on prepared
For loftiest visitants, as who should say :
‘ My son and daughter, that so far have fared,
I have awaited you this many a year.
Enter and rest, my son and daughter dear. ‘

And entering in, they veiled their heavenly sheen
In homely vesture, and themselves resigned
To homely tasks. A milkmaid or a queen,
Her had you deemed : an emperor him, or hind.
Of port majestic, yet of humblest mien-
Immortals, thrilled with touch of mortal kind-
To notes of earth they gave sphery tone,
And knit the hearts of all things with their own.

So there they stayed, and to neighbours few
The story of their earthward flight revealed ;
And more than paradisal bliss they drew
From the familiar life of hearth and field.
Content with pleasures which the lowliest knew,
The wealth which all things unto all things yield,
They vowed that nought should ever them decoy
Back to their selfish heaven of unearned joy.

Yet theirs were may griefs, for evermore
They made the pangs of other hearts their own,
Feeling all pain they saw ; and thus they bore
The burden of the universal moan,
Wept with all tears, and will all wounds sore.
But likewise all the joy by others known
Became their joy ; and in the world-wide scale,
Pleasure, they found, o’er pain did still prevail.

So, on the earth, as angels they remained,
Yet more than angels, being lovers too ;
All their celestial loveliness retained
And evermore in earthly sweetness grew.
Thus lost they nothing of divine, and gained
Everything human save what men must rue,
Uniting all below with all above,
Linking the stars and flowers in perfect love.

But being deathless, ever ’twas their doom
Loving their fellows, to lament them dead.
Age after age, they saw the opening tomb,
And saw it close upne a comrade’s head.
Yet what the grave took from them, that the womb
Gave back ; ‘ for death is but a form, ‘ they said,
‘ Birth a convention : nought is less or more ;
And nature but reclaimeth to restore. ‘


And still they tarry. I have met them oft,
With their pure voices and caressing eyes.
You hear the rustle of their raiment soft,
And, looking up, behold with no surprise
The coronal they never yet have doffed,
The lucid aureole worn in Paradise :
Nor can you marvel that they never cared
For joys which only idle angels shared
* * * * *

‘ I think, ‘ said Faust-himself and Mephisto
Had just returned from their ethereal jaunt-
‘ This earth is still the nicest place I know.
It always teases me when people flaunt
Their own superior bliss before me, so
Aggressively, as in that sinless haunt
Where we have just been priviledged to see
The dullness of entire felicity.

‘ And then, their bliss itself-no objects new
Tempting the soul for ever forth to press !
One goal attained, another half in view,
One riddle solved, another still to guess,
Something subdued, and something to subdue,
Are the conditions of our happiness.
I know no harsher ordinance of fate
Than the stagnation of your perfect state. ‘

‘ All which, ‘ said Mephisto, ‘ I’ve heard before.
Well, you and I no risk need apprehend
Of being stranded on that tedious shore.
From all such perils we are safe, my friend,
So make yourself quite easy on that score,
And your great mind to other matters bend.
Meanwhile, old fellow, Earth for you and me !
(Aside.) How he will take to my place, we shall see. ‘


This is one of my all time favorites and I hope to memorize it someday — and to pass it on to both Riley and Reece.


by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

–Rudyard Kipling

The Tyger

I was saying the 1st few lines of this to Riley the other day and she seemed interested, but I could not recall the rest, so I told her I’d read it to her when we got home. Of course my Mom was in the car and after hearing me do this one and The Raven, she thought I should be teaching her more kid friendly poems! :-/

THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)

By William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?