Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Conversation Representative of the Level of Fashion Discussion in Our Household

Ben: What is it with you and all this Eileen Fisher stuff?

Me: She has a system...

Ben: She has a sister?

Me: She has a system—all the tops and jackets and pants and skirts go together.

Ben: Oh, like Garanimals.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Morning Quote: W. H. Auden on His Poetry Apprenticeship

...[A] would-be poet serves his apprenticeship in a library. This has its advantages. Though the Master is deaf and dumb and gives neither instruction nor criticism, the apprentice can choose any Master he likes, living or dead, the Master is available at any hour of the day or night, lessons are all for free, and his passionate admiration of his Master will ensure that he work hard to please him....

My first Master was Thomas Hardy, and I think I was very lucky in my choice. He was a good poet, perhaps a great one, but not too good. Much as I loved him, even I could see that his diction was often clumsy and forced, and that a lot of his poems were plain bad. This gave me hope where a flawless poet might have made me despair. His world and sensibility were close enough to mine...so that, in imitating him, I was being led towards not away from myself, but they were not so close as to obliterate my identity. If I looked through his spectacles, I was at least conscious of a certain eyestrain.

—W. H. Auden, "Making, Knowing and Judging,"
in The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays