February 25th, 2007


Poet's Corner: Ollie McGee and Fletcher McGee

I didn't post a poem yesterday. I planned to, but the night ran away from me. Ah well, no big loss. As penance, here are two poems, both from Spoon River Anthology, as requested.

Ollie McGee

Have you seen walking through the village
A Man with downcast eyes and haggard face?
That is my husband who, by secret cruelty
Never to be told, robbed me of my youth and my beauty;
Till at last, wrinkled and with yellow teeth,
And with broken pride and shameful humility,
I sank into the grave.
But what think you gnaws at my husband's heart?
The face of what I was, the face of what he made me!
These are driving him to the place where I lie.
In death, therefore, I am avenged.

Fletcher McGee

She took my strength by minutes,
She took my life by hours,
She drained me like a fevered moon
That saps the spinning world.
The days went by like shadows,
The minutes wheeled like stars.
She took the pity from my heart,
And made it into smiles.
She was a hunk of sculptor's clay,
My secret thoughts were fingers:
They flew behind her pensive brow
And lined it deep with pain.
They set the lips, and sagged the cheeks,
And drooped the eye with sorrow.
My soul had entered in the clay,
Fighting like seven devils.
It was not mine, it was not hers;
She held it, but its struggles
Modeled a face she hated,
And a face I feared to see.
I beat the windows, shook the bolts.
I hid me in a corner
And then she died and haunted me,
And hunted me for life.

Edgar Lee Masters (1868 – 1950)

  • Current Music
    Bobs, The - Barbara Ann

Art on Sunday: Court of Common Pleas

Unknown 15th century artist
Court of Common Pleas, c. 1460
Ink on vellum

Inner Temple Library, London

My first thought today was to combine a poetry entry with an art entry, but then I remembered Andy's request. But posting an illuminated manuscript page still seemed like a good idea. I had to compress this a lot to make the file size manageable, so I would suggest you visit the Inner Temple Library website to see it and the other three illuminated manuscripts in their collection at full size and clarity.

  • Current Music
    New Pornographers - Your Daddy Don't Know
movies, oscars

Quick Oscar predictions

The Biggies

Best Actor: Forest Whitaker. We may very well see two frequent Oscar nominees win their first Academy Awards tonight. Unfortunately for Peter O'Toole (and Kevin O'Connell), the second one will be Thomas Newman.

Best Actress: Helen Mirren. And justifiably so.

Best Director: Martin Scorcese. Likewise.

Best Picture: A couple of weeks ago I said my gut told me Babel would win. My gut has changed its mind, and now thinks The Departed will win. Fickle things, guts.

Best Supporting Actor: I'm gonna go out on a bit of limb here and predict Jackie Earle Haley. Voters will be inspired by his unlikely comeback, and take comfort knowing that if they ever fall on hard times, they can still make it back to the top. Also, history is on his side: every other Academy Award-nominated actor from The Bad News Bears has won for their first nominated role.

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson. Of course you can act while singing, you numbnuts.

Best Writing, Original Screenplay: Little Miss Sunshine. Voters will want to reward it somehow, and this seems the most likely category.

Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay: The Departed. Because it's the only Best Picture nominee in this category.

The Others

Animated Short: The Little Matchgirl
Animated Feature: Cars
Art Direction: Pan's Labyrinth
Cinematography: Pan's Labyrinth
Costume Design: Marie Antoinette
Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth
Documentary Short: Two Hands: The Leon Fleisher Story
Editing: Babel
Foreign Language Film: Pan's Labyrinth
Live Action Short: The Saviour
Makeup: Pan's Labyrinth
Original Score: The Good German
Original Song: "Listen," from Dreamgirls
Sound Mixing: Dreamgirls
Sound Editing: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Also, I predict Al Gore will come up on stage with the director of An Inconvenient Truth, and when given a chance to speak, will hold up the Oscar and say, "Suck on this, George!"
  • Current Music
    Dinah Washington, "What a Difference a Day Makes"