Tuesday 26

Inaugurating poetry

Filed under: Poetry — Tags: — zundel @ pm

The sound of breaking butterfly cheers me immensely:

Inaugural Verse” by Rudolph Delson in n+1 2009-01-19

It is not, in fact, so hard to know what to make of Elizabeth Alexander. She is a poet who, this Tuesday, will earnestly attempt to do something that may well be beyond her talents.

Adam Kirsch on Elizabeth Alexander’s Bureaucratic Verse” in “The Plank” at The New Republic 2009-01-20


Tuesday 19


Filed under: Politics — Tags: — zundel @ am

Monday 18

I’d like a pony too.

Filed under: Quote — zundel @ pm

New malware scam claims Obama to resign. Hint: It’s not true” by Joel Hruska in Ars Technica 2009-01-19

I’d like nothing better than to write an article come 2012 describing how users were no longer fooled into downloading unknown EXE files from websites with URLs like “superyearcard.com,” particularly when the link source was an e-mail written in badly-mangled English.

I’d also like a pony.

Tuesday 12

A long line of maiden aunts

Filed under: Quote — zundel @ am

Of A E Housman:

A fellow don described him as being “descended from a long line of maiden aunts”.

Me too.

Monday 11

May 5, 1915

Filed under: Writing — Tags: — zundel @ pm

Writing about Horace’s odes, Professor Harris suggests perusing A E Housman’s A Shropshire Lad.

I pulled Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory from the shelf and checked the index for Housman.

Which led to this:

Letters from Flanders” by Alexander Gillespie

…This day began for me about midnight, as I lay in my dug-out in the breastwork watching the plough swing slowly round. I shall remember that night; there was a heavy thunder-shower in the evening, but when we marched down it cleared away for a warm still summer night; still, that is, except for the sniper’s rifles, and the rattle of the machine-guns, and sometimes the boom of a big gun far away, coming so long after the flash that you had almost forgotten to expect it. The breastwork which we held ran through an orchard and along some hedgerows. There was a sweet smell of wet earth and wet grass after the rain, and since I could not sleep, I wandered about among the ghostly cherry trees all in white, and watched the star-shells rising and falling to north and south. Presently a misty moon came up, and a nightingale began to sing. I have only heard him once before, in the daytime, near Farly Mount, at Winchester; but, of course, I knew him at once, and it was strange to stand there and listen, for the song seemed to come all the more sweetly and clearly in the quiet intervals between the bursts of firing. There was something infinitely sweet and sad about it, as if the countryside were singing gently to itself, in the midst of all our noise and confusion and muddy work; so that you felt the nightingale’s song was the only real thing which would remain when all the rest was long past and forgotten. It is such an old song too, handed on from nightingale to nightingale through the summer nights of so many innumerable years. … So I stood there, and thought of all the men and women who had listened to that song, just as for the first few weeks after Tom was killed I found myself thinking perpetually of all the men who had been killed in battle—Hector and Achilles and all the heroes of long ago, who were once so strong and active, and now are so quiet. Gradually the night wore on, until day began to break, and I could see clearly the daisies and buttercups in the long grass about my feet. Then I gathered my platoon together, and marched back past the silent farms to our billets. There was a beautiful sunrise, and I went to sleep content.

Fussell writes: What purports to be a letter is more like an unfledged poem … To write like that you have to read all the time.

Gillespie, age 26, died in action 25 September 1915.

Sunday 10

Horace Ode I.9

Filed under: Poem — zundel @ pm

A mention by Harry Eyres in this weekend’s Financial Times sent me looking for a good translation of Horace’s ninth poem from his first book of odes.

Our Horatian winter of content” by Harry Eyres in The Financial Times 2009-01-10

Many stuffy translations exist. I think Horace unstuffy.

William Harris provides a charming loose translation and a nice reading.

Horace Odes, Book I.9” by William Harris

You see how the snow stands deep in Ripton’s woods
The snow and frozen hail have cracked the trees
Half to the ground, the river’s hard as land,
Inside we stoke generously the fire.

Professor Harris’s website looks worth long perusal. But later, as I go to have a drink with my friend Alex.

Tuesday 5

The deadly bunny fugu

Filed under: Photo — zundel @ am


Sunday 3

Use the source, Luke.

Filed under: Quote — zundel @ pm

I felt a great disturbance in the source, as if thousands of apt-get repositories had cried out in pain, and were suddenly silenced.


Friday 1

Net right

Filed under: Politics — Tags: — zundel @ pm

Reinventing conservatism, one tweet at a time” by Julian Sanchez in Law & Disorder at Ars Technica 2008-01-02

The movement was always a somewhat uneasy coalition of market enthusiasts and social traditionalists, defined at least as much by what (and who) they opposed as by any core common principles. The Palin strategy—recapturing that oppositional unity by rebranding the GOP as the party of cultural ressentiment—is just a recipe for a death spiral. Conservatives don’t need to figure out how to promote conservatism on Facebook; they need to figure out what it is they’re promoting. [emphasis in original]

What gets lost in the “bottom-up versus top-down” frame is that the left has managed a more useful symbiosis between their grassroots and their intellectuals. [emphasis original]

It has?

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