20 October, 2008

shantih shantih shantih

"Antonia beckoned the boy to her. He stood by her chair, leaning his elbows on her knees and twisting her apron strings in his slender fingers, while he told her his story softly in Bohemian, and the tears brimmed over and hung on his long lashes. His mother listened, spoke soothingly to him, and in a whisper promised him something that made him give her a quick, teary smile. He slipped away and whispered his secret to Nina, sitting close to her and talking behind his hand." - Willa Cather, My Antonia

I like...
... blogging when I'm supposed to be studying or writing essays
... writing slapdash book reviews
... going home for fall break
... tromping through the high grasses of allusions in "The Waste Land"
... romanticizing Eastern religions
... precision in language
... bringing out my fall clothes
... blogging without complete sentences and paragraphs
... the smell of lilies when I walk in my room
... chocolate
... being able to translate sentences in French on my own. Romance languages are for babies.
... having to read Greek myths to understand Eliot; learning about Tiresias and Philomela
... The New York Times Book Review

I love...
... My Antonia
... knowing Scripture
... that Robert Pinsky (yes, Robert Pinsky!) chose Guion's poem "Camp Easter" as the best in this semester's "The Cellar Door"
... that Saturday is coming

Then spoke the thunder
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment's surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms...
- T.S. Eliot, from "The Waste Land"

(*Title of this post is the last line of "The Waste Land." Hindi, also the ending of an Upanishad. Eliot says its translation is equivalent to "The Peace which passeth understanding.")

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