You tossed a blanket from the bed
You lay upon your back, and waited;
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed’s edge, where
You curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.
Has there been a better poet writing in English in the past 150 years? Probably not.
The depth of commitment to his metaphysical vision and the breadth of that vision is remarkable. Look at the rhyme and meter! Sinful.
Andrew Revkin is the NY Times global warming reporter and he’s able to keep the science in mind amid all the intense idealism and desperate desire to believe in global warming that surround him.
And that’s just at the NY Times!
In the video piece that can be found here (updated), he argues that the debate is finally centering itself.
1. Revkin is helping to make space enough to discuss the position moderately. Maybe it will allow more people to think critically and openly about oil, the benefits and drawbacks.
2. He suggests that there are two poles of global warming positions that are not helping the discussion….Michael Crichton’s State Of Fear for example, and Al Gore’s movie.
Yes, that’s right. Al Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, is being portrayed as holding an extreme position by the NY Times.
Thank you for keeping a cool head, Mr. Revkin.
As before, I still reserve the right to be skeptical about global warming in its entirety, so I don’t entirely agree with Revkin that global warming is happening at the pace he suggests.
Here’s a quote I like to keep in mind:
“…a light broke upon all natural philosophers. They learned that reason only perceives that which it produces after its own design; that it must not be content to follow, as it were, in the leading-strings of nature, but must proceed in advance with principles of judgement according to unvarying laws, and compel nature to reply its questions.”
I’ve been travelling this week and got to visit the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in Washington D.C.
They have a kids section where I spent a few hours playing with all the gadgets.
There are great explanations and demonstrations of the Bernoulli principle, and both Keplers’ and Newtons’ Laws. They also show some of the unique challenges with both atmospheric and space flight, as well as supersonic drag.
Highly recommended, and fun.
We also met a nice, older Danish guy. He had travelled the world as a mechanical engineer (diesel engines on large ships) but said he really enjoyed languages. He spoke English extremely well, Danish, French, German and goes regularly to Guatemala as a part of a Spanish immersion course. He was 70 years old and this was his first trip to America, and with no hint of rudeness suggested that this was because he’d gotten a great deal on tickets…..ah, well.
The blue booby lives
on the bare rocks
and fears nothing.
It is a simple life:
they live on fish,
and there are few predators.
Also, the males do not
make fools of themselves
chasing after the young
they gather the blue
objects of the world
and construct from them a nest—an occasional
a string of beads,
a piece of cloth from
a sailor’s suit. This
replaces the need for
in fact, in the past
fifty million years
the male has grown
nor can he sing well.
The female, though,
asks little of him—
the blue satisfies her
a magical effect
on her. When she returns
from her day of
gossip and shopping,
she sees he has found her
a new shred of blue foil:
for this she rewards him
with her dark body,
the stars turn slowly
in the blue foil beside them
like the eyes of a mild savior.