2012年3月12日 星期一

Ode to the Death of a Cockroach

Oh, my dear Gregor Samsa, I killed you.                                                     A
Please do forgive me - it was my convenience to do so.                               B
The world passes but nothing's new.                                                       A
Although,                                                                                                     B
to be fair,
you did walk into your own death.

I am sorry,                                                                                                   C
though not enough to find a tiny flower                                                        D
to cover your tiny body.                                                                             C
Not an hour,                                                                                              D
not a minute, not a dozen seconds
will be spent to lament your hapless shell.

From your prosaism to proscription to prosecution,                                    E
I couldn't find myself guilty.                                                                        F
my intuition                                                                                                E
was to find you filthy,                                                                                 F
and I am right.
You are nothing.

Take your last breath                                                                                 G
Sorry, we only had the chance to bond                                                       H
through your death.                                                                                    G
It's okay, you didn't have the heart to pursue beyond                               H
the next few seconds anyway.
"Now what the hell do you suppose is eatin' them two guys?"

2012年2月13日 星期一

Meditation 17

Meditation 17 Translation - Flattened

2012年2月12日 星期日

"That is not it, at all."

The Epigraph of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, originally from Dante's Inferno

Were I to die one day, I wish to carve the words "That is not it, at all." on my tomb. These six words are quotations from a poem:

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
  That is not it, at all.”
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

I strongly recommend you to read the entire poem

The poem describes the predicaments of a man, the story of a man not saying something. Maybe he does not dare to; maybe he feels helpless; maybe he can't phrase the idea; maybe he doesn't know who to talk to. We don't know what he want's to say, and we are not sure why it troubles him so much. It seems that he is talking to his lover. He is asking her to go on a journey, inquiry or life. I wouldn't go in depth and analyze the poem, but I would say that I am strongly connected to its words. I am growing old, and one day I will grow too old to do things. I will regret that I have not answer questions other men could not answer. I will regret that I have not ask questions that have not been asked. I know there is a answer that completes the holes of my life, but I dare not utter the question. At the end, those who care about me will comfort me as I rue about my past. They would try to exonerate life, and I would say, “That is not what I meant at all; That is not it, at all.”

2012年2月8日 星期三

I'm Dead Serious.

        Here's a fun idea: Alan Seeger wrote "I Have A Rendezvous With Death"; Emily Dickinson wrote "Death is a Dialogue between"; Aleksandr Blok wrote "Don't Fear Death"; Emily Bronte straight out named her poem "Death." All these works have conflicting ideas and emotions about death. By choosing a certains Poet's ideology, no, not even that, by aspiring one specific sublimated version of death, you're saying, "I know death more then Alan Seeger, Emily Dickinson, or Aleksandr Blok did." It’s terribly pompous of you to think that you’re better than some of the greatest thinking ever.

        So who is right about death? Goethe or Shakespeare? Dante or Milton? Am I even justified to ask these questions? Under the shadows of these literary and philosophical giants, what insight can I possibly give about death?

        Here is more bad news: this is the third paragraph and I have not answer any of my questions. Be rational, we all share this burden of doubt and ignorance, there’s no point trying to find it in some high school student’s blog.

        The worst thing is, these rants are based on the assumption that there is even a question. You have to accept that the following paragraph might be true.

        Death is not a man. Death is not a beast. We are not playing games or riddles. We are not ordained by anyone to solve anything. Death is not an object. Death does not need to justify himself. Death does not have the obligation to make sense. Death does not owe us anything.

        I am baffled as I think of these ideas. I might have found the answer, but I can never be certain. Thrown in such confusion, I am tempted to personify and antagonize death. This is so confusing, it’s almost as if an intelligence is deliberately keeping me away from the answer. I’m almost definite that there is a evil metaphysical deity just pouring down its metaphysical wrath every day.

        “But that’s silly.” I say to myself. No assumption is better than the other in utter ignorance. Death could be anything, so I made my decision. I chose a belief that would act most productively in my life, and it gives me the motivation to live.

        However, I am prepared to be terribly, terribly wrong.

2012年2月6日 星期一

Shakespear's Sense of Humor

I know this is from Romeo and Juliet, but still.
While his tragedies talk about life and death, Shakespeare's comedy talked about man and women. There are interesting implications about women rights in the plays. For and example, in Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado about Nothing, both consist strong, female character.Although they are not in charge, they often rebel against the authority (father of a family, main male character). I suppose at the standard of the time, this should be called gender equality.

This brings us to the next topic, in Shakespeare, the main characters (both tragedy and comedy) don't often have the most power. They have there own portion of power as well as struggles. People above the protagonists are often respected benevolent leaders, and those below are often treated as a comedic relief. In comedy the problem protagonists struggle would be love or jealousy.

Of all his comedies about love, Shakespeare doesn't really tell you what true love is. He simply portrays different kind of love with his characters and tells you what happens to them. However, according to what happened to his characters, we can guess that love - is very much like anger, both filled with passion (Benedick and Beatrice); is consensual (Malvolio); is blind (Olivia and Cesario); and lowers your emotional state to about 20 years. (Claudio)

In the aspect of humor, I'm surprised on how advance Shakespeare is. His setting of ridiculous plots and dramatic irony relates very much to today's "British Humor." The dialogues of Benedick and Beatrice shows wits very much like the "American Humor" today. So, yes, there is definitely a evolution of humor, but the central idea remains the same - unexpected everyday life tragedy with sympathy.

2012年2月5日 星期日

Comparison of Shakespeare Company's comedy, Twelfth Night and Taming of the Shrew.

Well, the Shakespearean Company didn't really create a representation of all the comedies; instead, it was a grotesque combination of all the plots together. However, they did get one thing right, Shakespearean comedies are often a collection of ridiculous (and often nonsensical) plot. Shakespeare puts comedic relieves inside comedies, and each comedic character has there own humorous parts. This causes the plot to not just have a one directional progression, but a mingle of events and personal relationships.

For and example, the twelve knight is full of crazy misconceptions and irrational adoration. Everyone just wants to love someone. This, very much like what the Shakespearean Company showed, caused the play to be packed with simultaneous events and humor.People in the Shakespearean period seem to take a lot out of these ridiculous humor.

2012年1月26日 星期四

Come away death I love you so much

I love you so - Ray Charles:
I love you so much it hurts me
Darlin, that's why I'm so blue
I'm so afraid to go to bed at night
Afraid of losing you.
I love you so much, it hurts me
And there's nothing I can do
I want to hold you, my dear, forever and ever
I love so much it hurts me so.

Come away, come away, death -  William Shakespeare:
Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O, where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there!

The two song both have a sense of helplessness and fragility in love. The love causes them pain, but they continue to embrace the feeling. The lyrics "I love you so much, it hurts me And there's nothing I can do." and "Fly away, fly away breath; I am slain by a fair cruel maid." both describes these complicated emotions, although one prove to be more violent and despairing. It's interesting how Shakespeare's a hipster, singing about love's pain before it was cool.