25 June 2006

Sunday, Silly Sunday

    It's a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.  The coffee is perfect, and the animals are splayed out in their favourite spots like Roman emperors.  And it's quiet.  Or, quiet except for my own tunage echoing and blasting about: as I begin writing this, Mr Morrison is rippin' through his showstopping medley of those two great anthems of adolescent lust, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' Shakin' All Over and his own Gloria.  It's a minor marathon, eleven minutes of snarl, smoulder, peal and raucous wail, sharpened by some dueling axe-work and a bit of guest-lechery by the late, great John Lee Hooker.  In a word:  Awesome.  It's as if the real world doesn't exist....
Stevie Nicks, many moons ago
    Ironically, Media Player decides to follow this medley with Stevie Nicks' The Edge of Seventeen, the greatest female version of adolescent, er, "indulgence."  I'm a few years older than you, she sings; Just a little bit, I think to myself, snickering rather more than a bit.  Doc J, many moons ago, used to have a bugger of a crush on Ms Nicks, when he was much less than seventeen and she was still the svelte and twirling bella donna.  **sigh**  Now she'd surely have to sing that she's a few stone heavier than me.  Damn, there's that bloody Real World unwelcomely nosing its way back into things.  Oh well.  At least Stevie still has a voice that could strip wallpaper at a single forte
    For the past few days I have been mulling over a few different items on the agenda, including the design of a prospective syllabus for a course on lyric poetry from Ancient Greece to Jacobean England.  I love the idea of the course, but am hemming and hawing over what to include and what not, particularly in relation to the ancients.  Some are obvious inclusions: Archilochus, Sappho, Theocritus, Pindar, Catullus, Horace and so forth, but matters get more complex among the lesser figures, and I'm wary of putting too much emphasis on the ancients when there's already enough to do once one gets to England.  And, of course, there's continental Europe to factor in, especially Petrarch and Dante and Villion, all as I'd hope to insert a few examples of early Irish verse.  What, then, gets sacrificed?  Early English Christian lyrics, like The Dream of the Rood?  I'd rather not screw over Old and Middle English lyrics too egregiously, but the connective tissues between the Renaissance and the Classical periods are so strong that they in many ways seem to render those periods comparatively less relevant.  One might almost as well start with Skelton and proceed from there, but that would Oh-so-Norton.  Then again, all my ruminating on all this will probably prove moot.  I'd love, though, to be able to teach some of those poets I never get to teach---  Skelton, Wyatt, Surrey, Davies, Crashaw, Herbert, Herrick, Donne, Campion.  Closest I've come of late have been Milton and Marvell and, of course, Shakespeare.  (Not up on all of these lit-wits?  Feel free to flit about here.) 
    I'm also discovering more and more lately that books keep disappearing from my shelves, like single socks in the dryer.  They should be around somewhere.  But, among others, I've realized that several volumes seem to have vanished into thin air, including my Everyman Yeats, John Hollander's Melodious Guile and Dante's La Vita Nuova.  Forkstix....
    Alas, I'm procrastinating, as most of you have probably already surmised.  Perhaps time to switch from coffee to beer as Sunday turns from luxury to labour.  Time, as they say, to get hopping, damn it.  That Real World never stays away long enough, does it?  Harrumph. 

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