July 7, 2009

Conversation Galante

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Enjoy the remarkable gallantry of Eliot!
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--Description: 20th C, Eliot T.S., Love, Nature, Nobility


I observe: "Our sentimental friend the moon!
Or possibly (fantastic, I confess)
It may be Prester John's balloon
Or an old battered lantern hung aloft
To light poor travelers to their distress."
She then: "How you digress!"

And I then: "Some one frames upon the keys
That exquisite nocturne, with which we explain
The night and moonshine; music which we seize
To body forth our vacuity."
She then: "Does this refer to me?"
"Oh no, it is I who am inane." "You, madam, are the eternal humorist,
The eternal enemy of the absolute,
Giving our vagrant moods the slightest twist!
With your aid indifferent and imperious
At a stroke our mad poetics to confute—"
And—"Are we then so serious?"

T. S. Eliot

--Did You Know: (26 September 1888–4 January 1965) T.S. Eliot was a poet, playwright and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Among his most famous writings are the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday and Four Quartets; the plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party; and the essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent". Eliot was born in the United States, moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25), and became a British subject in 1927 at the age of 39. Of his nationality and its role in his work, Eliot said: "[My poetry] wouldn't be what it is if I'd been born in England, and it wouldn't be what it is if I'd stayed in America. It's a combination of things. But in its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America."

--Word of the Day: clandestine\klan-DES-tin\, adjective:
Characterized by, done in, or executed with secrecy or concealment, esp. for purposes of subversion or deception.
(eg) One of the many shiny art panels at the back of the room is actually a clandestine two-way mirror (look carefully, the color is slightly different). Back in the day (perhaps now) it allowed managers to survey service and presentation, which are still impeccable.
-Ike DeLorenzo, Five classics revisited, Boston Globe, 27-May-09

--Quote of the Day: This is the final test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him.
-William Lyon Phelps

--Spanish Word of the Day: éxito, noun:
success
(eg) Tuvo gran éxito como escritor.
(transl) He was a great success as a writer.

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Posted by V. Mahfood
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2 comments:

Seth on July 8, 2009 at 2:38 AM said...

Charming poem! There are some things that one does not joke about with a lady, namely, the moon! = )
Thank U! As always~~~

V. Mahfood on July 8, 2009 at 10:56 AM said...

I so enjoyed this poem for its humor. Old-fashioned gallantry is just so scarcely found these days. Glad you enjoyed it!

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