yes, i have been scarce, and will continue to be so until my essays are done. presently, i am writing on the theme of self-doubling in Wordsworth's poetry as a reaction against the fear of temporality. exciting. next week, i will be writing about 'this, that, and the other,' British Imperialism and the fear of the foreign in Ivanhoe, the South Sea Tales, and Dracula. That last one will doubtless get narrowed to one or two texts (I might use Ivanhoe and another novel by Scott), but for now I will dream big!

that is all there is to me in this season of due dates and fined library books.

for those of you keeping slow track of the changing habits of this blog's title, pleast note that i am about to change it for the last time - that is, for this round. (the varying lines have been fragments which, when put together form a poem of mine.) i will try to think up something permanenter before long.


Wangerin, Walter. 'An Advent Monologue.' Ragman and Other Cries of Faith.' New York: Harper Collins, 2004.

transcribed from the first part:

I love a child.
But she is afraid of me.
I want to help this child, so terribly in need of help. For she is hungry; her cheeks are sunk to the bone; but she knows little of food, less of nutrition. I know both these things. She is cold, and she is dirty; she lives at the end of a tattered hallway, three flights up in a tenement whose landlord long forgot the human bodies huddled in that place. But I know how to build a fire; and I know how to wash a face.
She is retarded, if the truth be told, thick in her tongue, slow in her mind, yet aware of her infirmity and embarrassed by it. But here am I, well-traveled throughout the universe, and wise, and willing to share my wisdom.
She is lonely all the day long. She sits in a chair with her back to the door, her knees tucked tight against her breasts, her arms around these, her head down. And I can see how her hair hangs to her ankles; but I cannot see her face. She's hiding. If I could but see her face and kiss it, why I could draw the loneliness out of her.
She sings a sort of song to pass the time, a childish melody, though she is a woman in her body by its shape, a swelling at her belly. She sings, "Puss, puss." I know the truth, that she is singing of no cat at all, but of her face, sadly, calling it ugly. And I know the truth, that she is right. But I am mightily persuasive myself, and I could make it lovely by my love alone.
I love the child.
But she is afraid of me.


I don't think I've written here in a real way for a while... Not that there is all of a sudden something to say, but an update, however brief, is surely in order.

I have been, as usual, reading a great deal. Though I took a day off last weekend to watch Lord of the Rings - a marathon view of all three extended versions with flatmates Jess, Liesl, and Lindsay. The latter two dropped out at the beginning of the third film, but Jess made it to the end. Not without pain, of course. Our bones were sore from sitting 'so long in one attitude,' and our brains were foggy with the stuff of Middle Earth. I don't think I'll be going there again for some while.

Fast forward nearly a week, and you have the events of this evening. At 5:45 pm, I stood before a group of my peers and presented a general synopsis of my intentions concerning the dissertation of this coming summer (see previous post on research proposal). I spoke for about twenty minutes, according to flatmate Lindsay, who graced the group with her agricultural presence, and there were a variety of questions to follow. We went back to the flat afterwards to eat some dinner and did not make it back out again - mainly because flatmate Jess and flatmate Lindsay decided to have a party on my face. There are photos of the adventure, which involved several layers of eyeshadow and Sephora glitter from chin to forehead, but I do not think that I am bold enough to post them here.

Other than that, this week held little other than the average academic nose-in-book sequences. There were some good conversations with my options course peers, a clarification concerning one of my course essays, and a dive into the world of Percy Bysshe Shelley (with a sampling of my favorite of his poems below). Next week hold much of the same, this time with both Keats and Yeats. Poetry, poetry, poetry. Oh yes, and preparation for the final essays, which will generally involve finishing all the theoretical secondary reading that I haven't finished over the last nine weeks.

The weather is getting blustery again. My mother sent me my tax information, so I am doing all of that business online. And I am beginning to think about travelling during the coming summer. It seems that at this point I am not returning home in April. While this is a disappointment, it will allow me to make more than one trip during the summer. If anyone has suggestions as to where I should travel, or offers of accommodation, or any other question/comment related to my upcoming European festivities, please hail via the comment thingy provided by this most excellent Blogger.

Until then, good night, good night.


Percy Bysshe Shelley

(last two stanzas from 'Ode to the West Wind')

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be
The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
As then, when to outstrip the skiey speed
Scarce seemed a vision, I would ne'er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
O, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one!
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves, to quicken a new birth;
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

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