Sunday, December 09, 2007

A day late and, if not a dollar short, then perhaps missing some sense.

Quotes for this week. Initially I thought they were random, but having looked again, I believe there's a major theme afoot. What think you?

From the "Rugrats" series, which I used to watch faithfully when my kids were little. Gosh, how I loved that show and its many clever/sly references. There are about a bajillion excellent lines in the series, but my favorite (based on usage) is probably from "The Art Fair" episode, in which Charlotte Pickles believes Angelica is a talented artist as a result of splatters actually caused by Chuckie, Tommy and the other babies. Eventually, Charlotte enters Angelica in an art fair.

In the episode, Angelica overhears her mother say this line: "Oh relax Chaz. She's au courant. She's into vanguard. She's on the edge." And repeats it later to the "dumb babies", Angelica-style and with swagger:
"I'm in the van pool. I'm on the hedge." ~Angelica Pickles

I have repeated the line about being in the van pool and on the edge at least a handful of times, because it so sums up my feelings some days. I've used it ironically on the days when I'm toting kids thither and yon. And I've used it on those days when I feel punch-drunk from too much creative juice. Only I'm pretty sure it just marks me as crazy most of the time, on account of my reference point.

Moving on. From Elizabeth Smart, a Canadian writer best-known for her largely autobiographical novel written in prose poems, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. (Bonus points to you if you'd already heard of this writer (I had not); bonus points also available for anyone able to provide the number of the Psalm her title parodies without having to look it up. It begins "By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept", and it provided the impetus for part of the lyrics from "On the Willows" in Godspell (one of my favorite tunes from the soundtrack, and that is saying something).)

"What is poetry? Do not enquire. The secret dies by prying. How does the heart beat? I fainted when I saw it on the screen, opening and closing like a flower . . . poetry is like this, it is life moving, terrible, vivid. Look the other way when you write, or you might faint." ~Elizabeth Smart

From Jane Austen's "Love and Freindship", from the body of work called her Juvenilia (and yes, the typo was intentional - Jane had a spelling issue with the order of I and E):

"Run mad as often as you chuse; but do not faint—" ~Jane Austen

These are the last words that Sophia says to Laura before Sophia's death. Excellent advice, particularly when paired with Ms. Smart's comments, I think. Makes me want to be "in the van pool" and "on the hedge."

So, for today, I hope to run mad with poetry. Right after I do a bunch of holiday baking.

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