Sunday, December 19, 2010

Had we but world enough and time

I spent the morning writing at Panera with friend Angela De Groot. I managed to put up the earlier quoteskimming post and to write about 300 words on my work in progress. I also discovered a so-far unreported error in the Scrivener Beta for Windows, so I did my part to report it and work out the kinks, etc.

Now I'm home, and I'm looking at all the things I really want to do - not just the things I must do, and some of them are also on this list, but the things I WANT to do:

bake cookies
wrap gifts and package some for mailing
go grocery shopping
make chili
read
see The King's Speech
work on my WIP
write a new song for my WIP
practice piano
sewing project
shop for stocking stuffers

(For the curious, here's today's plan: See The King's Speech at 1, then stop at the grocery store, then come home to make cookies and chili. I will also work on the WIP some more, whether it's a new song or additional text.)

As I was contemplating all the possibilities - so much to do, and all day to do it - I started muttering "Had we but world enough and time" - the opening line of Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress". And it occurred to me to pause in order to read the poem, so I got myself a hot cup of tea and took a few minutes to read the poem and to watch the video below, which somehow calmed me down and cheered me up all at the same time (not that I was particularly down, but I sure was flustered). So here's a reprise of the last time I posted about this poem, in case you need a moment's pause as well. I've even included video of Damian Lewis reciting the poem (RAWR!) so you can really "get away" for a moment:

Here is Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress", which I featured during National Poetry Month as part of my Building A Poetry Collection series of posts. But first, a clip of the yummy Damian Lewis reciting - nay, performing - the first two-thirds of the poem:





My favorite lines from the poem? The first line ("Had we but world enough, and time"), the last couplet of the second stanza ("The grave's a fine and private place,/But none, I think, do there embrace.") and these lines from the middle of the third and final stanza, which was omitted from Lewis's performance:

Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

The full text of the poem as well as discussion and analysis can be found in my post from April 14, 2009, among other places on the web. I also note that "Let us roll all our strength and all/Our sweetness up into one ball" is specifically referenced by T.S. Eliot in his marvelous poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", which you can read here in a prior post.

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