a thing of beauty

by pieces of moments

I spent the afternoon doing something absolutely delicious: bracketing any slight film of productive guilt to release Reading For Pleasure.

Having recently moved, and thus opened up boxes of my books, I have rediscovered many lovely bound pages that I have released and savored. Exhibit A: my copy of The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007 in which I read the thoroughly entertaining and supremely well written introduction by Sufjan Stevens about his completely unorthodox early literary education. I also laughed aloud at the list of Best American Names of Horses Expected to Have Undistinguished Careers:

Average at Best

Ayn Rand’s Condescending Sigh

Buyer’s Remorse

Cloud of Suspicion

Colic the Wonder Horse

Daddy Drinks Because I’m Slow

Exit Strategy

Fond of Long Naps

For the Love of God Run Faster

Glued Lightning

Hell Is Other Horses

I Have No Son

Limp to Victory

Low Expectations

Luck o’ the Amish

Pride of Two Guys with No Business Owning a Horse

Shoulda Bought A Monkey

Slim to None

Some Budding Young Actress’s Fit of Pique

Squeak of Defiance

Stupid Gypsy Curse

This Is Your Horse on Drugs

Torpor Unbound

Tripsy McStumble

Undisguised Contempt for All Things French

War Criminal

Amazing. It reminds me of one of my favorite McSweeney’s lists Text Messages That Would Have Been Helpful (“hey just wnted 2 give the heads up, CC on way w 3 shps, want 2 colonize u. dont giv n unless u think casinos r gr8. txt me back”).

I’m also reading A Wrinkle In Time, which, I somehow totally missed reading previously. I’m totally enjoying it and wondering why on earth I didn’t get around to it until now.

Also totally delicious was reading Keats as the sun began to set accompanied by the perfect cuppa Lady Grey tea with cream. I love Keats. There’s just something so honest in the midst of all the dreamy, romantic, pastoral, language and content in his works. Seeing as yesterday was the first day of spring, officially, I give you this as a parting gift for this evening to remind you to listen to the “poetry of the earth”:

On the Grasshopper and Cricket

THE POETRY of earth is never dead:

When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,

And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run

From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;

That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead 5

In summer luxury,—he has never done

With his delights; for when tired out with fun

He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.

The poetry of earth is ceasing never:

On a lone winter evening, when the frost 10

Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills

The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,

And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,

The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.

December 30, 1816.