sick day


I am home sick from church. My flu/cold seems to be improving a bit. I had a low temp yesterday, but it was normal this morning when Eileen checked it. Eileen is out snowblowing. She also skipped church today. I probably would skip blogging but I want to put a up a recording of my piece which should premiere today.


Adam Briggs, the sax player, emailed this recording from their rehearsal last Monday evening. The use of a bass trombone is not quite as incongruent as I feared. It is nice to be ill and have the recording emailed to you so you can hear something like what might happen today at the concert.

Image result for the immortal life of henrietta lacks

In her essay, “The Narrative Gift as Moral Conundrum,” Ursula K. Le Guin, recommends Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  as a book she couldn’t put down. I’ll forgive her for the other one she mentions in the essay, The Help, which I thought was weak. Its style is breezy but the story is absorbing and perfect for reading when ill. I’m on page 36.

“Bronze” by Jeffrey Euginedes| The New Yorker

I listened to this last night. I am amused to see how my interest in classicism keeps being reinforced. In this story, Eugene is translating Horace on the train. Part of the story is him reading his translation (homework) to the man he meets on the train. This is a solid story I think. I am also intrigued that two of the characters have variations on the name of the author: Kent Jeffries and Eugene.

English Catullus poem 8 

Richard F. Thomas makes a case for classical influences on Bob Dylan. In fact, that seems to be one of the themes of his book, Why Bob Dylan Matters. He quotes the linked poem. I instantly pulled out my Catullus to do some reading in it. Bob Dylan was a member of his high school Latin club. Who knew?

Bob Dylan – Nobel Lecture

More classicism. Dylan spends a lot of time describing the impact of Moby Dick and All Quiet on the Western Front. I’ve never made it all the way through the former, but the latter had a huge impact on me as a teenager. Dylan also talked about Homer in his speech.

Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth | Poetry Foundation

In her lovely essay, “The Inner Child and the Nude Politician,” Le Guin challenges some of the silly notions romanticizing childhood that persist in our time. She quoted a bit of the linked Wordsworth poem.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
“Shades of the prison-house begin to close/upon the growing boy.” Nice. We come from light and return to light. Le Guin: “[T]he ode proposes that a soul enters life foretting its eternal being, [and] can remember it throughout the life only in intimations and moments of revelation, and will recall and rejoin it fully only in death…. I cherish this testimony particularly because it need not be seen as rising from the belief system of any religion.”

An unlikely alliance exposed.

2 thoughts on “sick day

  1. So, you’ve read it. You only say that it was interesting. I have been drawn in a la Le Guin’s comments that it does draw one in. I think it’s an absorbing honest tale and probably an important one when you think about the science and morality involved. I can see where the author came in for criticism despite her meticulous work. I find that “you can’t talk about something if you’re not in the group” approach not very convincing. It sometimes reminds me of “only black people can play jazz or the blues.” Something I also find not convincing. I think I’ve read The Help. I seem to know it. I remember it as a bit weak. And missing a lot of the innate hypocrisy of the situation but I may be reading that back.

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