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Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day! (With Addendum)

(For politics, please scroll down)

graphic from a dear friend's Facebook page


And for the cat lovers who frequent this blog:


Flowers I received today from the homeschool group. I got the flowers home safe and sound, and they are now safely positioned in our living room:


  1. The sappy, expectant, social-correctness of Valentines Day....makes me wish for a return of Lupercalia.

    - CI

    1. The social norms levied on us by popular culture and consumer interests. The burdens usually falling more on men.

      - CI

    2. CI,
      In this household, Valentine's Day has zero to do with spending big bucks. No dinner out, no expensive flowers. Just a fun day something along the lines of a muted celebration of our wedding anniversary. Well, and a good excuse to eat candy.

    3. My impression is that (if you allow them to) social norms usually burden women more than men.

    4. really don't 'do' Valentine's Day in our house either. Mrs. CI is far more appreciative when I do something nice for her on other, non-Hallmark card days.

      - CI

    5. Gianina Consanguinetti said

      It could be that "social norms" differ considerably among the various nations, cultures and ethnicities, could it not?

  2. Der Dichter spricht

    _______ To Mrs. Reynold's Cat _______

    Cat! who hast pass’d thy grand climacteric,
    How many mice and rats hast in thy days
    Destroy’d? How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
    With those bright languid segments green, and prick

    Those velvet ears - but pr’ythee do not stick
    Thy latent talons in me - and upraise
    Thy gentle mew - and tell me all thy frays,
    Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.

    Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists -
    For all thy wheezy asthma - and for all
    Thy tail’s tip is nick’d off - and though the fists

    Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
    Still is that fur as soft, as when the lists
    In youth thou enter’dest on glass bottled wall.

    ~John Keats (1795-1821)

    Mr. Keats thought enough of Mrs. Reynold's pussy to write it a perfect Petrarchan Sonnet. Note the form abba abba cde cde. Elizabeth Barrett Browning chose to write her forty-four love sonnets in this Italianate form during the years 1845-46. They were published under the title Sonnets from the Portuguese, became very popular in their day, and have remained so ever since.

    Nothing could be more appropriate for the observance of Saint Valentine's Day than the story of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It it beautiful dramatized in the play Rudolf Besier's 1930 play The Barretts of Wimpole Street, which was later made into a movie of the same name (1934), which, if you've never seen it, should be available on YouTube.

    1. Final sestet is cd cd cd. Still an Italian though.

    2. FT,
      I appreciate that our kitties, until they reach retirement age around 14 years of age, are "working kitties." They keep this old house rodent free.

      But their work status isn't what primarily makes us love them. As a cat lover, you know exactly what I mean!

    3. Right you are, Jez! It's good to know someone cares enough to pay attention to these things.

      The way I laid it out (Keats published it with no separation between the segments) it seemed more like cdc, dcd than cd cd cd, but of course that's six of one, half a dozen of the other, isn't it? ;-)

      As I'm sure you know even better than I, the final six lines (sestet?) may be arranged any number of ways. cd cd cd, –– cde, cde,–– cac cac, –– dab dab, –– dea dea –– deb deb, etc. Good Lord! I've made myself dizzy just thinking about it. :-)

      Of all the sonnet forms I've found the Spenserian (abab, bcbc, cdcd, ee) the most confining, though nowhere near so as the villanelle –– but that's another topic for another day.

      Have you written any sonnets? It's not terribly difficult once you put your mind to it. I do it, because it's good mental exercise, and I enjoy it.

      At the very least these attempts come under the heading of good, clean fun, unless you want to write in a ribald vein, of course, which I often do, but strictly tongue-in-cheek.

      And so it goes ...

    4. Der Doppelganger said

      I'm sure FT knows JUST what you mean, AOW.

    5. I don't often write to a rigid rhyming scheme. It can be highly effective, but I'm not good enough to avoid triteness. I'm better off letting occassional rhymes work like a special effect.
      Those guys who invented the sonnet were practically cheating by writing in Italian, a language which rhymes automatically.

    6. I'd love to see some of your poetry, Jez. I think it might be best to let "Posterity" decide whether anything we've done is consequential or not.

      Anyway, I'm glad you do write poetry. I enjoy it, as I said, more as "good mental exercise" than anything else. I hold no illusions that what I've written could be considered "important," all I can say is that it meets the basic requirements of technical competence. Aside from that it's just fun. ;-)

  3. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY AOW! please stay healthy!! xoxox

    1. WTH,
      I'm trying very hard to get well. The last several days have not been good, though.

  4. That bouquet of flowers looks as though it could be a painting by Renoir.


    1. FT,
      Did you notice the portrait of Cameo behind the flowers? A few years ago, one of my students painted that portrait.

  5. Replies
    1. Mystere,
      Why, thank you, my friend!

      And great to see you here at this blog site.

      I'm a bit sporadic with responding to comments these days. Health issues and the resulting fatigue interfere with my usual pace of blogging. But I DO read all comments.


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