Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Care to Watch?

We can't read the book for you--but we can show it to you! If you feel so inclined, grab a spare hour or two and enjoy Ian McKellen in the the PBS performance of King Lear.

Watch the full episode. See more Great Performances.

Latin Epigram Translated

Thanks and kudos to Patrick Jouppi, who with his friend Cheryl Cavalear provided an elegant translation of the epigram which concludes the "V-A-S-E" poem below.

"The days will be extremely cold
When Boston is improper."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Was it a Vase?

Courtesy of the Kalamazoo Public Library's Local History Department, a poetic reflection on regional cultchyah. Extra credit to anyone who can translate its concluding epigram.

The V-A-S-E

From the madding crowd they stand apart,
The maidens four and the Work of Art;

And none might tell from sight alone
In which had Culture ripest grown--

The Gotham Million fair to see,
The Philadelphia Pedigree,

The Boston Mind of Azure hue,
Or the soulful Soul from Kalamazoo--

For all loved art in a seemly way,
With an earnest soul and a capital A.

Long they worshipped; but no one broke
The sacred stillness, until up spoke

The Western one from the nameless place,
Who, blushing, said: "What a lovely vase!"

Over three faces a sad smile flew,
And they edged away from Kalamazoo.

But Gotham's haughty soul was stirred
To crush the stranger with one small word.

Deftly hiding reproof in praise,
She cries: "'Tis, indeed, a lovely vaze!"

But brief her unlovely triumph when
The lofty one from the house of Penn,

With the consciousness of two grandpapas,
Exclaims: "It is quite a lovely vahs!"

And glances around with an anxious thrill,
Awaiting the word of Beacon Hill.

But the Boston maid smiles courteouslee
And gently murmurs: "Oh pardon me!

I did not catch your remark, because
I was so entranced with that lovely vaws!"

     Dies irit praegelida
     Sinistra quum Bostonia

James Jeffrey Roche