Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Lady Of Shallot

How has it come to this? Sitting here with very little to say for myself other than trying to articulate some vague feeling that after awhile reading so much Tennyson and Gerard Manley Hopkins through the internet begins to seem the same as reading too much of them, even with nice lines like:

But where I say Hours I mean years, mean life

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I dislike gloomy poetry - in fact for several teenaged years it was my very favorite genre! But lately reading bucketfuls of poems laved with doubt and anxiety and other dangeroud things is starting to get a bit draining. Or maybe it's just easy to tell myself this, because I'm already feeling sort of gloomy as it is. (When in doubt, blame the Victorians!) Last week I heard a radio segment about a new book on Abraham Lincoln's melancholy, and whether or not the book is very well founded, the auther made an interesting comment about how there was once a time when sadness was an acceptable quality in a leader/public figure. I've been thinking about this a lot.

Speaking of being gloomy, I have found a pretty good way of cheering myself up, which is simply by taking a long, hard look at this:

Considering that this is from the 1904 World's Fair, it seems sadly unlikely that Jerry can be reached for questioning, which is too bad, because I'd really like to know about the details of this postcard - do you think ferris wheel rides were just longer back then?