Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A New Favorite Quote or Two

Okakura Kakuzo in The Book of Tea speaks of the mutual ignorance of the other's culture between Asia and the U.S. "You have been loaded with virtues too refined to be envied and accused of crimes too picturesque to be condemned." Ahh what a smooth talker! "I'll tell you right out-I'm a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk." -- Kasper Gutman (Sidney Greenstreet) in The Maltese Falcon "The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog." --G.K. Chesterton (with a point of view that the religious right should pay more attention to) "Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable." --G.K. Chesterton again "Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton (Can you tell that I am an admirer?) "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true." --James Branch Cabell
I can no longer remember the name of the book (it belonged to the school library), but it was about some aspect of programming. I was on deadline and racing through the book when one paragraph stopped me in my tracks. I read it again more slowly and suddenly realized that it was a sonnet in paragraph form. The rhyme and meter were very good. It was Petrarchan rather than Shakesperean. It wasn't great, but it was competently executed.

I had this sudden vision of a scholar facing a life full of jargon and active voice, reaching out with a word processor, that he wished were a quill, hoping to make contact. When I went back to find the book a few days later, I could no longer remember which one it was.

Ah well ... time to diminish some more sonnets.

Bill S. had a way with a sonnet, He always had one in his bonnet. I feel kinship with Bill, For his verse (if you will) Only has a few extra feet on it. Sonnet 2
When forty winters shall beseige thy brow, And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field, Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now, Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held: Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies, Where all the treasure of thy lusty days, To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes, Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise. How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use, If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,' Proving his beauty by succession thine! This were to be new made when thou art old, And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold. Limerick 2 When your skin is like old corduroy, And your youth Father Time did destroy, She says, "You're no beauty!" You tell her, "Hey cutie, To see me, just you look at my boy.