What’s your favorite poem?

If I Could Tell You

Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose all the lions get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.

W.H. Auden

When I was a senior in high school (1994) I went on a trip to London with my school.  I was in awe pretty much the whole time.  Not that I hadn’t traveled, I was just so in love with London I could hardly believe I was really there.  If I had had a digital camera I would have run out of space on my memory card the first day.  I especially loved riding the Underground.  After all I grew up in a town with a handful of elevators, a crappy bus system, and no escalators.

On the Underground I started to notice poetry in some of the ad spaces.  I didn’t know until way later (enter the advent of the internet) that this was a culture thing.

Poems on the Underground was launched in 1986. The programme was the brainchild of American writer Judith Chernaik, whose aim was to bring poetry to the wide ranging audience of passengers on the Underground.

All I knew was, I was seeing poems I hadn’t read before.  There was one that caught my eye and I wrote it in my journal.  I don’t know what it was that spoke to me in Auden’s words.  Maybe it was the repetition, maybe the odd rhyme scheme, maybe the message, but whatever it was I came home wanting to know more poetry by W.H. Auden.  It was a librarian friend who explained villanelle style poetry to me.  I tried to write poems in the same style, but I am a hopeless writer.  I got a book of his poetry and devoured it.  Four Weddings and a Funeral came out that same summer and featured another Auden poem that just about broke my heart.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.


The connections just keep coming.  The college I went to, Sweet Briar College, actually has an Auden collection in the library.  I don’t actually know what that means, because I was never brave enough to ask about it.

Looking back I wish my senior quote in my high school yearbook had been from another Auden poem, Leap Before You Look.

A solitude ten thousand fathoms deep
Sustains the bed on which we lie, my dear;
Although I love you, you will have to leap;
Our dream of safety has to disappear.

I would have just quoted the last line, but I put the whole final stanza here to give context.  I was so afraid to leave the safety of my hometown, my friends, the only house I ever really remembered (there had been an apartment until I was 3), my parents and my sister.  Virginia is a long way from Vermont in so many different ways.  And I really had to leap before I looked, or I might not have gone.  I am so glad I did.

I had no idea what I was going to experience in college or how it would shape my life.  I wanted all the answers up front, but they weren’t there for me.  To be trite, I had to let time be the one to tell me so.

If I could tell you, I would let you know

Q1 2008 Books

I hope to read 50 books in 2008. Here is what I have read so far:

  1. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes I had never read any Sherlock Holmes, so when I finished everything on my nightstand I grabbed this one off the bookcase. Except for a few words I had to learn, from my husband, it was a pretty good read.
  2. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt I put off reading this for over a year. My mom got it for me at Christmas a year ago. Now that I am teaching Sunday School, I am more into religious stuff. It was a very interesting read. I know it is her fictionalized version of events, but I am sure she did her research on the times, so it was interesting to find out what it was like then.
  3. Angels Fall Just a quick romantic mystery. Pretty well written, good twists.
  4. Prodigal Summer I LOVE Barbara Kingsolver. So far I have enjoyed every one of the books I have read by her. This one took me a lot longer than I expected. It was a little hard to get into, but once I did I really liked it. It was a wonderful combination of 3 tales.
  5. Back Roads Heart-wrenching tale about a young man taking care of his younger sisters.
  6. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia)Having never read the Chronicles of Narnia, I snitched the whole set from my church library and am reading them one after the other. This one was very interesting. I saw the movie on DVD last year, but the book was totally better.
  7. Prince Caspian (Narnia) I liked this one a lot. I love that the kids got to go back. I missed the beavers though, they were some of my favorite characters.
  8. A Mango-Shaped Space For 2 days I took a little break from Narnia, and headed to the world of synesthesia. This well written Young Adult novel told the story of Mia, a 13 year-old middle child with synesthesia. For the first time, she admits to others that she experiences this phenomenon. It has it ups and downs, and I definitely cried. It is a great book for preteens, teens, and parents.
  9. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Narnia) Back on to Narnia. I liked this one best so far. It was a great adventure, with some interesting moments. Although sometimes I feel like he was half-asleep while he was writing and missed some parts.
  10. The Silver Chair (Narnia) Just started this one. Not liking it so much so far, but I have to finish it.

March 24 was the 365th and last day of the year in many European implementations of the Julian calendar.

in Just-spring

Today is the official first day of spring. Spring is my favorite season. It contains several of my favorite events:

  • My birthday
  • Mother’s Day
  • Easter
  • The end of the school year (most years)

I also love the change in weather.

  1. I get all jazzed up and happy.
  2. Everything seems better.
  3. The days are getting longer and brighter.
  4. School is winding up.
  5. Things smell better.
  6. Flowers are blooming.
  7. It is warmer.
  8. I can stop wearing socks.
  9. I can wear short sleeves with no sweater or jacket.
  10. New things come alive.

in Just-
spring       when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles       far       and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far       and       wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



balloonMan       whistles

	-- e. e. cummings

Common date of the Equinox. In astrology, March 21 the day of the Equinox is the first full day of the sign of Aries. It is also the traditional first day of the astrological year; and International Astrology Day.

I didn’t do it

Things I haven’t done, that you probably think I have

  1. Downhill skiing My parents took us once when we were kids and I hated it. I totally don’t understand the appeal. It is cold, windy, difficult, why would you want that?
  2. Spent large amounts of time in Canada You would think, since I live in a border state, that I would have been there a bunch of times. In fact, I have been 2 or 3 times. My parents claim we went when I was a child. We ate lunch just over the border when my sister was visiting her boyfriend at camp. We spent our honeymoon in Montreal. That’s it. 3 times. I’ve been to Cancun more times than that.
  3. Smoked pot I never really saw the need. I had a roommate in college that did, but she was not all that into peer pressure. I was in the room sometimes when my friends smoked up, but I never tried it. It probably has something to do with my pessimistic nature: I’d get caught; I don’t need the muchies to eat too much; I’d get sick; I would do something stupid.
  4. Had a lot of jobs My parents owned their own businesses when I was growing up (still do) and my dad figured I should work for them.  So when I was younger (okay, it wasn’t a real job) I worked in the store, stocking shelves, collecting empties, running the register.  You know, they sold the store when I was twelve, but I was still a better cashier and bagger than the kids who work in our grocery stores.  When I got older I had a lot of tasks around the appraisal office (in our house).  I sorted, labeled, recorded photos.  I photocopied and filed appraisals.  I have only had 4 “real” jobs outside of the family, but that is a list for another day.
  5. Seen a lot of plays I enjoy doing theater, but it has to be really good for me to sit through a performance.  I’ve seen more than your average person, but not as many as I should have seen considering my love for it.
  6. Read many “classics”  Mark Twain called a ‘classic’ a book that everyone praises but which no one actually reads.  I have always been more of a current culture sort of girl.  I have read some of those books others would call classics: Little House on the Prairie, Little Women, David Copperfield.  But I prefer modern fiction.

1959 – The original Broadway production of A Raisin In The Sun opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City.

Friday night fun

I am so glad it is finally Friday. This was a very long week. My class has been kind of off the wall. We’ve had fluctuating attendance and disruptions. We are working our way slowly through the book, focusing on the story, retelling, spelling, and grammar. I am skipping several skills about comprehension, certain organizational skills, and a few other skills. It still takes us foooreeever to get through certain things. I do like this group a great deal, but it is very trying.

Tonight we went to dinner with my parents, my sister, and her “little guy”. –Several years ago she was let go from her nursery school and then brought back as a one-on-one. When he moved on to kindergarten this year, in a special needs class, she was let go again. She does spend a lot of time with him to give his parents respite.– Little guy was very good while we sat at the restaurant. T talked with my parents while I talked to Mooch and Little guy. He is very sweet and did a good job answering my questions. I pulled out some yarn scraps and she used the to spell words. She is very good with him.

It angers me that to be a “highly qualified” para-educator you have to have a certain level of education. I understand that teachers should have the training and education, but for someone to be a para-educator, teacher’s aide, or one-on-one, shouldn’t experience and ability count for something? So my sister didn’t finish 60 hours of college, she is amazing with kids, takes direction well, and works well with other adults. Hang in there Mooch, someone will hire you.

Random fact: When I was in third grade (my favorite school year, ever) there were only 3 kids in my reading group. We learned to sign Sam’s Cookie. It was one of the funnest projects I ever did. I still love that book.

Thoughts on Thursday (Friday morning)

Every year my school has a Thanksgiving dinner for the parents.  The kitchen staff and a lot of parent volunteers work really hard to make it great.  There are two seatings and since I had a class during the second seating I ate with the big kids.

Thursday nights I have pottery.   I am not that great, but it is a wonderful break in my week.  This session there are only 2 of us in the class.  Last night we use colored porcelain.  I am working on a website for my pottery studio.  Nothing much, but enough to share her class times, information about her, and events her studio will be showing at.

I got home late, so I didn’t get to watch Grey’s Anatomy.   That doesn’t mean I went to bed early though.  I am reading the His Dark Materials series.  I am a good way through The Subtle Knife, the second book, and loving everything about it.  We bought the omnibus edition and are trying to share it, but I am really selfish and grab it while he was in the shower.  Last night I did give it up to him though.

Random fact: I have been going to the same pottery studio since I was 7.  My dad did ceramics from the time he was 5 until he was in college.  He majored in ceramic engineering, since, as he says “There is in money in art.”  Of all the things he pushed me to do as a kid, this is the one that stuck.

My Harry Potter questions

Spoilers below


Before book 7:

Trust Snape?
Where are all the horcruxes?
Will Hermione and Ron get together?
Will Harry and Ginny end up together?
Will Harry live?
Who will die?
Will Tonks and Lupin get together?
Will Harry go back to school?
Is Harry a horcrux?
What are the Deathly Hallows?
Who was supposed to die but didn’t?
Who died, but was originally going to live?
What will happen to Hogwarts?

After book 7 (but before JRK interviews):

What happened to Hermione’s parents?
Where’s Luna?
What are the Trio and Ginny doing now?
What did Dudley see?
What was Petunia going to say to Harry?


What is behind the veil?
What is in the Love room?
What happens to the prophecies that were broken?
Who will do magic that hadn’t before?
Did Petunia have anything of Lily’s she could have given to Harry?
What happened to the Dursley’s?

Harry Potter links

I have read some great stuff in the two weeks following the HP release. I was talking to Best Lady about it, and she thinks I should post them here. She is not going to go look at them yet, but some of the rest of you might.

Cheryl Klein is the US “Potterologist“, she is a continuity editor at Arthur A. Levine and was a fan of the books before she was America’s biggest Secret Keeper. She has written two major entries post release. Some Thoughts on “Deathly Hallows” and Back to Harry: News (including Incredible Famousness), Thoughts, and a Theory. She has also written a few other HP release posts with cute pictures from the Scholastic release party. Cheryl posted this link from The Onion.

Lovely JK Rowling was interviewed by Meredith Veira and there are transcripts online.
Confused by Potter? Author sets record straight
Rowling regret: Never told mom about ‘Potter’
Rowling: I wanted to kill parents
Stop your sobbing! More Potter to come

Bloomsbury.com did an online chat with JKR and the-leaky-cauldron.org posted the transcript. It is a little awkward to read, but it is great to get more information and to know that others have the same questions you do.

Several bloggers that I read wrote about HP & DH too. Kelly at Big A little a wrote in her goodreads review.

HipWriterMama wrote about different aspects of the series, interestingly she didn’t read the books until this summer.

MotherReader took an internet break to read all of the books (again) and then wrote a reflection on all the books and then a collection of links to what other people have written. I wonder if like me, she is still taking it all in.

Miss Erin is one of the youngest bloggers I read, but definitely one of the best. She posted great pictures from the release party she went to. Hey, Erin, where’s your review?

Bookshelves of Doom (who has the best t-shirts for sale) posted a spoiler free entry. I missed them when she posted, but now I am going to go back and read the Boston Globe alternate endings she linked to. She had previously linked to the NYT alternate endings, but you can only read them if you have an account.

Elizabeth at Fuse #8 posted a two part review. Her’s was one of the most detailed reviews I read.

My Potter obsession is not limited to the written word. I also love listening to my favorite podcast Pottercast hosted by Melissa, John, and Sue. I still haven’t listened to the follow up episodes, but I have had a great summer listening to their live casts around the country. Melissa has written three posts following the release: short, sweet, and funny.