I knew everyone would be entertained by yesterday's tale. Some were surprised I like the Beat poets (though I'm not sure why), and Amy Lane and I are discussing the virtues of making students memorize stuff. (I'm biased on that topic - I have a problem bordering on learning disability, with memorization. If I can understand something, I'll remember it forever. But word-for-word memorization is nearly impossible for me. You should see me try to remember PIN numbers for debit cards.)
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't DISLIKE the Beat poets, but they aren't my favorite poets in the whole world. I like their topics, and how they conveyed them, and I have infinite respect for their ability to communicate feelings with words. It was Beat poetry that made me start to understand what writing is REALLY capable of; more than the essays and short stories I was fed in the public schools. However... well, they aren't my favorite. They sure as hell aren't pretty or calming or pleasant (and the authors would have said "damn straight, it's not supposed to be!" to that), and honestly, for my poetry I prefer some calm reflection to screaming at the world. Though of course both have their places in the overall scheme of things.
So, ultimately, the bottom line is, I chose that poem to suggest to my college friend because I knew it would speak to him, and it was a good thing for him to be exposed to. Not because I LIKED it.
Poetry I do like? Well, it's probably a cliche, but I love Robert Frost. (I like Mozart, too.) He's readable, pretty, and either expresses something I feel - though of course better than I ever could - or makes me think. Here's my favorite of his. It's common as dirt and I'm surprised no one else has posted it yet.
The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Amazingly, even at the age of thirteen or so, when I first read this poem, I got the larger metaphor for life, and liked the message. Looking back now, twenty-seven years later, I think that I should have taken a few more roads less traveled by in my life, but I took enough of them that I'm not totally disgusted with myself over it. He sure says it better than I could.
Plying and spinning.
Last night I dug in with the Eureka marathon on Sci-Fi and plied 180 yards of Berry Picking goodness.
It's slightly overspun - good for sock yarn - and also not washed yet. A lot of that twist will relax once it is. I'm thinking I should rename this "Summer in Farm Country" because that's what I was reminded of last night. Not just the berry picking and the summer sky, but the deep, intense red of the poppies that grew under the dining room window, and the pink of the wild strawberries (I couldn't pick those 'cause I'm allergic), and the dark purple of the clematis my dad grew and trained every summer by the back door. There's even a lavender, reminding me of the lilac bush in the yard that pissed my mother off because it almost never flowered (it was a subject of high comedy when she would lay into that thing with clippers). It's all in there. Plus some exotic bougainvillea pink that reminds me of Hawaii. Love it. One more bobbin to ply, then I have to decide whether I'm starting on the Purple Trainwreck, or spinning more shop stock.
I'm thinking shop stock. I have a nefarious, and I think funny, idea. Not quite Vitreous Humor, but more knittable.
The sock knitting is coming along. This is my second go at it; the first one was too big. I'm pleased to report the handspun unravels halfway decently. Not great, but you can knit it up again with relative ease and without it looking like crap after.
Those colors aren't quite right; I took it under incandescent light, so it's more red than it should be.
QUESTION (AGAIN) FOR THE SOCK KNITTERS: I've seen some hilarious "stitch keepers" around, that bundle up all the working needles and hook over the ends, with elastic holding the ends together? I've found some plain old boring ones for sale, with simple caps. Where are you guys getting the ones that look like sea creatures and other crazy stuff? 'Cause I want some.
ETA: Mystery solved. They're homemade from finger puppets. I'm on the case and will create something unholy, soon, I'm sure. Thanks for the help!
Otherwise, I got a shipment of books from Lacis. These are two, which kind of set the mood.
The beaded knitting is gonna have to wait until payday, but I went to the craft store yesterday for other stuff (more on that, on a shorter blog post later) and took a look at the beads suggested for the projects. (Number eleven seed beads.) I won't repeat what I said in the store for fear of offending someone, but it's a miracle they didn't throw me out of the store. I'm thinking I'll experiment with larger seed beads and some size ten crochet cotton.
As for the ribbon? Well, at the least, it's gotten me motivated about organizing all the ribbon I've got.
Really need to develop an off switch about ribbon when I'm in craft stores. Sales be damned. (I picked up another roll yesterday. !!!) I'm plotting what to do with all this stuff, in such a manner as to make money. More on that later, too. But it's gonna be interesting, I hope.
Now I'm gonna go read more of my art history book that lives on the dining room table. I'm up to the Roman Empire and am now looking at frescoes about two thousand years old.
This may yet prompt another art-history rant about Western bias in art history books. Or how so much great art is not in the countries of origin where it should be. I know I've already said it, but DAMN.