06 November 2009

Vocal Exercises

This blog posts by time of writing, which means that if I have a post I want to come after another post, I actually have to create it first. In this case, I do have something I want to come afterward, so I created it first and it's below. But I wanted to start off with something less serious and more pleasant, so this one appears first.

I remember once when I was TAing for my advisor, she told the class that in Don Juan "Byron finally found his voice," meaning that he finally found the voice that suited him best, and in which he could do most. As you know, I'm working on a novel. This is hard going - novels are not easy to write, and it turns out they're even less easy to write if you are trying to make them work well as you write them (who knew plotting took so much thought? Well, Charles Dickens, as it happens. He plotted all his novels in detail). But I think I've found my voice. I expect it will be irritating to some, if not to many, but it really is my voice: the right one for me, and the one in which I feel comfortable. Or perhaps it might be better to say I've found my idiom; I've found the way of moving and constructing the speech of the novel so that it allows me to do what I at least think I want to do.

ANYway (BUEno), in PracCrit this week we prac-critted John Donne's "A Valediction, Forbidding Mourning." The smalls had terrible trouble with it, but I have none, and the last poem I put on here went well, so I thought I'd put this one, too:

A Valediction, Forbidding Mourning

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their said friends do say,
"The breath goes now," and some say, "No,"

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
'Twere profanation our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Movement of the earth brings harms and fears,
Men reckon what it did and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers' love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
The thing which elemented it.

But we, by a love so much refined
That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls, therefore, which are one,
Though I musto go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so,
As stiff twin compasses are two:
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
To move, but doth if th'other do.

And though it in the center sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like the other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.

Ah, such a poem!

And yes, that is a dirty joke in the second-to-last stanza.

A wasp has flown into my room and landed on the far wall. I believe it's fallen into the torchiere lamp and burned to death, but I'm afraid to check, because I'm afraid that when I look inside the lampshade, if it's not dead it will leap out and sting me in the face.

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