We’ve got a Midsummer Night’s Giveaway winning entry, a bit of Shelley and of course, the continuing saga of Tom Jones…
When You Are Old, by William Butler Yeats
Read by Xe Sands
This poem has lingered on the periphery of my awareness for quite a long time. And each time I read it, it seems to hold a different meaning for me.
Last night, when I sat down to record it, it seem to say: look around you right now, past admiring glances, and notice the one who loves you when you are not graceful or beautiful or even particularly nice. The one who actually loves you.
That’s a tremendous gift – to be loved for who you truly are. I don’t mean in the fictional way where a self-loathing person who’s actually all things wonderful suddenly realizes that they are loved by someone despite damage they aren’t even responsible for.
No. I’m talking about someone who sees all the beauty and goodness in you…and also sees the ugliness,the mean moments, the pettiness, the guilt, the shame, the defensiveness – whatever is in there (that we all have to some degree) – and takes it as part of you.
That person? Cherish that person if you are fortunate enough to have one in your life. Honor their gift.
I am so incredibly blessed that I do have such a person in my life. And I thank Lee F. for suggesting this poem this week because it’s a poignant and timely reminder to value, cherish and honor the gift he gives me with his love.
Exhortation, by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Read by Diane Havens
Worked on my poetry this week and was reminded of Shelley’s exhortation. Poets should not seek wealth or fame, and especially in today’s society, little to no chance of that happening. I love the analogy here of poets to chameleons.
Tom Jones – Book 5, Chapter 9, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 5 Chapter 9 of Tom Jones.
This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones over the course of four years.
This chapter has some great theorizing on drunkenness. First off, Fielding puts to bed the notion that people somehow gain opinions or inclinations when they’re drunk that they don’t have when they’re sober. So often these days a celebrity or politician will get drunk and say awful things, and then pretend the only problem with what they did was that they got drunk. Well, Fielding didn’t buy it, and nor should you.
Fielding also does some hefty theorizing as to why the English like to fight so much while drunk. He puts it down to their love of glory, rather than any inherent combativeness. See what he did there?
Anyway, Tom and Blifil get into it, because Tom’s joy for Allworthy’s recovery butts up against Bilfil’s mourning his dead mother, though, of course, it could just be that Blifil is upset that Allworthy is all better, and is using the death of his mother to shut Tom down. We may never know.