Monthly Archives: December 2002

since feeling is first…

e.e. cummings

since feeling is first

who pays any attention

to the syntax of things

will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool

while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,

and kisses are a better fate

than wisdom

lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry

- the best gesture of my brain is less than

your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other; then

laugh, leaning back in my arms

for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

‘Nother shocker:

New Tolkien Book Discovered

A YELLOWING manuscript by J.R.R.Tolkien discovered in an Oxford library could become one of the publishing sensations of 2003.

The 2000 handwritten pages include Tolkien’s translation and appraisal of Beowulf, the epic 8th century Anglo-Saxon poem of bravery, friendship and monster-slaying that is thought to have inspired The Lord of the Rings.

A US academic, Michael Drout, found the Tolkien material by accident in a box of papers at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

An assistant professor of English at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, Dr Drout was researching Anglo- Saxon scholarship at the Bodleian, and asked to see a copy of a lecture on Beowulf given by Tolkien in 1936.

It was brought to him in a reading room in a large box. Professor Drout, who reads Anglo-Saxon prose to his two-year-old daughter at bedtime, said: “I was sitting there going through the transcripts when I saw these four bound volumes at the bottom of the box.

“I started looking through, and realised I had found an entire book of material that had never seen the light of day. As I turned the page, there was Tolkien’s fingerprint in a smudge of ink.”

After obtaining permission from the Tolkien estate, Professor Drout published Beowulf and the Critics, a version of Tolkien’s 1936 lecture, in the US earlier this month.

Even more exciting will be Tolkien’s translation of the poem and his line-by-line interpretation of its meaning, which will be published next summer.

Tolkien’s name on the cover is likely to make the translation a bestseller.

Some guys have all the luck!


Sir Ian to be Dumbledore

Melancholy Saturday

I’ve finally finished my second re-read of Ondaatje’s The English Patient. This reading took so much longer than usual, due to my keeping track of events on my trusty yellow legal pad. Half a pad later, I can honestly say that I have some direction to my paper (finally). This is a good thing, especially considering the paper is due in about 3 weeks, give or take. Now to sort through the research and start typing.

I’m convinced that there’s nothing more intimidating than a blank word processor screen, taunting you to begin with its blinking cursor!

I wanted to put up some of my favorite passages, since I consider this weblog my personal “commonplace book” of sorts.

This was the time in her life that she fell upon books as the only door out of her cell. They became half her world. She sat at the night table, hunched over, reading of the young boy in India who learned to memorize diverse jewels and objects on a tray, tossed from teacher to teacher — those who taught him dialect those who taught him memory those who taught him to escape the hypnotic.


To rest was to receive all aspects of the world without judgement. A bath in the sea, a fuck with a soldier who never knew your name. Tenderness towards the unknown and anonymous, which was a tenderness to the self.


I see him [Herodotus] more as one of those spare men of the desert who travel from oasis to oasis, trading legend as if it is the exchange of seeds, consuming everything without suspicion, piercing together a mirage. ‘This history of mine,’ Herodotus says, ‘has from the beginning sought out the supplementary to the main argument.’ What you find in him are cul-de-sacs within the sweep of history — how people betray each other for the sake of nations, how people fall in love.


I believe this. When we meet those we fall in love with, there is an aspect of our spirit that is historian, a bit of a pedant, who imagines or remembers a meeting when the other had passed by innocently, just as Clifton might have opened a car door for you a year earlier and ignored the fate of his life. But all parts of the body must be ready for the other, all atoms must jump in one direction for desire to occur.


We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography — to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience. All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps.

Oh, to be a writer. I love finding myself lost in words.

Links, links, everywhere links.

Eyes sore…too….much….surfing. The harvest of my web scouring tonight:

If you’re happy and you know it, bomb Iraq

The Chunky Soup curse

The Beast: 50 Most Loathsome People in America (via Idle Type)

America’s 2002 Top 10 Best/Worst of Pop Culture

Make your own Fireworks show! (More fun than the OED!)

My name is Becky, and yes — I am a picture-holic.

Oh, the fun I’ve had! I took my camera to the ice skating rink last night to take pictures. Silly me had it set on the wrong setting though, so all the action shots are quite blurry. We all had fun though. I haven’t been skating in ages! I was thinking that it would be alot like rollerblading, and I was wrong. I didn’t fall, though (which is quite surprising, considering my track record on ice!).

A group of us went out to the Civic Center to skate. It was really good to be with old friends again. The pictures I took actually look quite artistic, considering:

Suz and Rachel (such cuties!):

Rach and her Chris (both falling on ice):

Today we had a “grrrls” day, and went out to our favorite Tea Room for an afternoon tea/lunch. My mom, sis, and I met up with one of my “best-good” friends Heather and her momma. Heather also brought the youngest member of the party, her daughter Miah (only 4 months old!). She’s so cute! It was great being able to see Heather again, its been ages.

Heather and Miah (collective awwww.):

Miah is a special baby. After my friend Doug was killed in a car accident, I had to call her in NC to tell her about it. It had been almost 2 years since I had talked to her, and I hated having to first talk to her, on an occasion as that. After getting the nerve to go ahead and call, as we talked it was like nothing had changed and no time has passed between us. Miah was barely a week old, and I could hear her cooing on the phone. In spite of the feelings of loss I was experiencing, I also could feel the joys that accompany new life. That was something really special, I’ll never forget.

Well, I’m heading out to Barnes and Noble to go spend my gift certificates. Oh, the joys of free money! And Starbucks coffee! And millions of books! Wheeeee!

And, since it was requested earlier that I post a pic of myself, here goes nothing — complete with nifty borders from a photoshop program: (too bad it has to accompany such lovely faces above!)