June 30, 2009

The Darkling Thrush

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--Description: 20th C, Hardy T., Hope, Nature, Night

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.

The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seem’d to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seem’d fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carrollings
Of such ecstatic sound,
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air,
Some blessed Hope whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Thomas Hardy


--Did You Know:(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) Hardy was an English author of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances.

--Word of the Day: rodomontade \rod-uh-muhn-TADE; roh-duh-; -TAHD\, noun:
Vain boasting; empty bluster; pretentious, bragging speech; rant.
(eg)These are rejoinders born out of a need to deflate a balloon filled with what others view as pomposity or rodomontade.
-Corey Mesler, "Dispatch #1: Buying the Bookstore (The Early Days)", ForeWord, August 2000
(eg)The very absurdity of some of his later claims (inventors of jazz, originators of swing) . . . has made him an easy target in a way far beyond anything generated by that other (and in some ways quite similar) master of rodomontade, Jelly Roll Morton.
-Richard M. Sudhalter, Lost Chords

--Quote of the Day: Novelists do not write as birds sing, by the push of nature. It is part of the job that there should be much routine and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry.
-William Golding

Spanish Word of the Day: inoportuno, adjective:
untimely; worst; unsuitable
Note: Inoportuno often goes together with momento:
(eg) El micrófono falló en el momento más inoportuno.
The microphone failed at the worst or most awkward moment.

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