Classic Humor

By Tim Butler | Posted at 6:58 PM

This gives me a smile each time I read it — particularly the closing couplet.

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show, That she (dear She) might take some pleasure of my pain:
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain;
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain:
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay,
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite—
“Fool,” said my Muse to me, “look in thy heart and write.”

— Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella, I

Why the poetry tonight? Well, I'm working on an end of semester poetry project, albeit not dealing with our friend Sidney (although I'll consider my work perfected if I manage to fit in at least one reference to his Defense of Poesy where it is actually meaningful). My poet vicit… errr… subject is Archibald MacLeish — another likable poet. As I'm writing this, I'm staring at a big stack of books by and about MacLeish that have made their way here from across the state through the MOBIUS interlibrary loan system. Sounds like a good weekend project, eh?

Bush Promotes Him Again: I need to do a post on Alberto Gonzales as well. I can't really find much of a record (it seems he doesn't have a huge public record), but he looks like a strict constructionist, as far as I can tell. He also sounds like he might be a bit less of a lightening rod than Attorney General Ashcroft. Certainly, I think the president will retain more political capital with this choice than if he had found an Ashcroft, Jr. Ed, I think, is right though — the AG's seat does turn people into monsters… maybe more frequent turnover would be a good idea.


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