Late afternoon under a bridge in Queens, New York City, the traffic light is red. Left, right, then left again I looked to cross the one way street. Then right again to verify what I thought I had seen. In front of the other cars, a woman sits quietly on a medium sized motorcycle. Perhaps in her late 30s, or early 40s. Under an open helmet, her face is alert and patient. There is another expression there I could not interpret. Something akin serenity. Sitting behind her is a man. His hands loosely wrapped around her waist. Whose face under an open helmet, too, wears similar expressions to hers. On his left shoulder is a cotton, or perhaps linen tote bag. I wondered what was in the bag. As I stood watching, the light changed to yellow then quickly to green and they zoomed away.
Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop
by William Butler Yeats
I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
`Those breasts are flat and fallen now
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty.'
`Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul,' I cried.
'My friends are gone, but that's a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart's pride.
`A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.'
William Butler Yeats’ "Crazy Jane Talks With the Bishop" is one of my favorite poems. The humor and wit in the exchange between the speakers are excellent and give one much to chew on. The interest of this analysis is to try and decipher whether Jane is indeed crazy or mistakenly identified as such. The title tells us what is happening in the rest of the poem: a woman, ref…
I tell her she has outlived her usefulness.
I point to the corner where dust gathers,
where light has never touched. But there she sits,
a thousand years, hands folded, in a tattered armchair,
with yesterday’s news, “the Golden Mountain Edition.”
The morning sun slants down the broken eaves,
shading half of her sallow face.
On the upper northwest corner (I‘d consulted a geomancer),
a deathtrap shines on the dying bougainvillea.
The carcass of a goatmoth hangs upsidedown,
hollowed out. The only evidence
of her seasonal life is a dash of shimmery powder, a last cry.
She, who was attracted to that bare bulb,
who danced around that immigrant dream,
will find her end here, this corner,
this solemn altar.
Marilyn Chin’s “Altar” seems a tongue-in-cheek treatment of the intriguing subject that is human desire in the need to improve one's state, through the theme of immigration and specifically as a transmission of culture. The poem traces the transpla…
Let's do music today. First things first, Pharrell Williams is hot. Now that that is over with, onward to less important things; a review of his new music, "Freedom." I cannot get enough of it...at least for now. "Happy" introduced me to Williams. Prior to that song I cannot recall knowing of him. The dude is smart. I thought "Happy," might have been a coincidence but now I know it is not. He knows his audience and serves them well by delivering melodic chants of the things we all desire and strive for. Who does not want to be happy or free? See, dude is cool and that is why his new song is on reeeeepeat!
The lyrics are beautifully spiked with poetry. I have copied the whole thing for you below. As mentioned above, the song has been on repeat and as I was being swayed by the wonderful beats and chants of "Freedom,"––head nodding and bobbing; hands shooting into the air; feet tapping tapping tapping away––I could not help but wonder what fr…