Sunday, 26 May 2013

Keats in May: “Think not of it, sweet one, so”

When Katherine of November's Autumn announced her intention to make a Keats Blog Tour, I was immediately interested to participate. Keats is one of the most prominent poet in English Literature and more importantly, I like his poems. I read him for the first time four years ago. I found him in the library and started reading, thinking that I must at least know something about him, since he has great reputation. Then this poem, which I'm going to write about, presented itself to me.

Think not of it, sweet one, so
Give it not a tear;
Sigh thou mayst, but bid it go
Any, anywhere.
Do not look so sad, sweet one
Sad and fadingly;
Shed one drop then -- It is gone--
Oh, 'twas born to die
Still so pale? Then, dearest, weep
Weep! I'll count the tears;
And each one shall be a bliss
For thee in after years.
Brighter has it left thine eyes
Then a sunny rill
And thy whispering melodies
Are tenderer still
Yet, as all things mourn awhile
At fleeting blisses
Let us too!-- but be our dirge
A dirge of kisses

Simple, isn't it? This poem is so simple, so easy to understand, but it rings true, sincere, and full of consolation. It's so interesting how such lines, simple lines, can bring such effect to me.

It's my hobby to recite poems when they reflect my thoughts of feelings. I recite this almost every time I feel like crying. I always start with the first stanza, with emphasis on “Give it not a tear.” When it's not enough, I continue to the next one, “Shed one drop, then.” Well, the next is easy enough to guess. For very hard times, it ends in the third stanza, while I weep and count the tears, with a hope that things will be better next time.

It sounds weird perhaps, but it's true. For me, the poem helps me to control my feelings, and sometimes to pour out my feelings in tears. It works better than self-help books and people's 'dont-be-sad' lines.  

That's all from me. Please visit other participants' post for the tour too. 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Weekend Quote #42

Sorry, sorry, a thousand apologies I need to say to you. I've been missing from this blog almost a month, without any post but the most necessary. Fact is, I'm working on my thesis and I can't do much beside that (except reading several books late at night or on the way). And I know, I've been neglecting the Weekend Quote, which I don't intend to do, and I hope I won't do again in the future, though I very doubt that as long as I still need to do my thesis.

Well, here's the quote of the week.

“And were I not, yet is my trouth yplight
And loue auowd to other Lady late,
That to remoue the same I haue no might
To chaunge loue causeless is reproch to warlike knight.”

I take it from Fairy Queen by Spencer, that's why the spelling is somewhat old. Those are Guyon's word when Mammon offered him his daughter as a spouse. Guyon represents “Temperance” and he passed that test by saying that he couldn't take that offer.

I especially love the last line. “To change love causeless is reproach to warlike knight.” Not only to knights, I suppose, but to all human beings. It isn't fair to 'change love' without reason. The other party may feel betrayed.

That's my quote for this week. Please share yours below.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Classic's Club Spin #2: I am Ready

Time for the second spin? All right, I took 2 or 3 books off the list because I've finished it. Haha. But now here they are, the 20 books I would enrol in this Russian Roulette.

  1. Pushkin - Eugine Onegin
  2. Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  3. Spencer - Faerie Queen
  4. Queen – The Chinese Orange Mystery
  5. Conrad - Secret Agent
  6. Sabatini - Captain Blood
  7. Dickens - Tale of Two Cities
  8. Sabatini - Scaramouche
  9. Shakespeare – Lucrece
  10. Verne - 20000 Leagues Under the Sea
  11. Wilde - Importance of Being Earnest
  12. James - Portrait of A Lady
  13. Dickens - Christmas Carol
  14. Dumas Jr. - Camille
  15. Shakespeare - Sonnets
  16. Voltaire - Candide
  17. Doyle - The White Company
  18. Sheridan - School for Scandal
  19. Dumas - Man in the Iron Mask
  20. Austen - Pride and Prejudice
See you again next Monday. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Weekend Quote #41

Three weeks without any quote! Why, I'm at failure as a host. Such thing must not happen again. Hopefully. So here's this week's.

“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”

From Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Beautiful thing to say, isn't it? Yes, of course, but not in its context.

It was spoken after Gatsby's death, by a friend of his. In his life, many people claimed to be his friends. Many overexploited is generosity and felt no shame at all about it. They took their advantage of him and gossiped about him behind his back. Those people were just like parasites around him.

Then he died, and nobody seemed to care about what he was truly like, or who he was truly, or anything about him. It's just so sad. They didn't even bother to attend his funeral.

Out of context, however, the quote sounds really good. We have the opportunity to love people and let them know that we love them only while they are alive. Let's show our loved ones 'friendship' while we can. We don't know what will happen tomorrow, and we don't want to regret having missed an opportunity to truly love somebody.

That's the quote for this week. Share yours!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

LRP May Meme: Music

If music be the food of love, play on. - William Shakespeare

Music. It is one of the most beautiful expressions that humanity can develop during its existence. Shakespeare, being a writer, wrote some lyrics as well, to be played during his play. Another quote of him says that 'a man that has no music in himself' is not to be trusted.

But this month we're talking about music in greater scale. We will talk about any music. Anything. Any melody you can think about when you read this month's tragedy. It could be Prokoviev's Romeo and Juliet, Verdi's Otello, or other other classical music. It could even be modern. If Hamlet reminds you of Kelly Clarkson's If No One will Listen or Josh Groban's Let Me Fall (the song is so suicidal, by the way), you can put it in the meme as well.

Don't forget to give a youtube/soundcloud link as well (when possible). It's fun to share some music with the rest of the participants, isn't it?

Saturday, 4 May 2013

The Great Gatsby: “Frailty, Thy Name is Woman”, No, Man Too

I didn't expect the story to be like this. I expected it to be nicely boring just like This Side of Paradise, just a story of everyday life with occasional thrill in it. I expected it to be neither sad nor happy, neither exciting nor tedious, and the book is anything else but that.

The Great Gatsby is a story of a great rich person named Gatsby – quite obvious there. He loved to make parties for other people, and those people flocked to his house, invited or uninvited, had fun, and left. He seemed to be popular without having a friend, rich without having happiness, and busy without having a purpose. So much reason to pity him.

On the other side of the story there were the Bucchanans – man and wife. The man had a mistress, and the wife secretly loved Gatsby. They, Gatsby and Daisy (the wife's name), had a past, but that's just all. The woman married another, and Gatsby still loved her all the same. But, hey, she was already married.

Another part of the story now. Nick, Gatsby neighbour, liked Daisy's friend, Jordan. For some time, she liked him too. But Nick was far wiser than that to let his heart carried away by such a capricious woman. 

I think the strength of this novel is in the characters. They are so human (and I hate that). No hero, no good man, no innocent lady. They're just people. I read the pages and muttered, "Human being!" in disappointment. That's how it is. 

I cannot write how the story ends. I just can't. To be honest, my eyes are still wet because I cried reading it. (I finished reading it less than five minutes ago.) What I want to say is 'I should have known'. Truly, because I heard that Leonardo diCaprio will play in the upcoming film, I should have known it'd be tragic.

And instead I thought it would be boring. How stupid is that?

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Let’s Read Plays: Check-In #2

Check-in! Yay! This is one of the most interesting reading events I'm participating in this year, although I must confess that I have been more than busy lately, with a lot of things distracting my mind (among which Shakespeare, my thesis, and my own capricious self are the main reasons). So, while idly (which I should not be) waiting in the library, being sad and romantic after watching Giselle on YouTube, I decide to write the check-in. (I know, I haven't written a check-in for my own event, but whatever.)

How have your Let’s Read Plays been during these six months, still exciting, or a bit boring? Did you read all the monthly themes, or did you miss several ones?

AMAZING! I have always loved Shakespeare, so it becomes more like an entertainment than a burden to me. I LOVE reading those plays. I read all the monthly themes, luckily in time. I even managed to read 2 tragedies in the first month of the challenge. And it's still as exciting as ever. I expect to read more in months to come.

What has been your favorite, or your failure (if any)?

JC is a re-read, and Richard III is too dark. I'd say Antony and Cleopatra is my favourite tragedy this far, and LLL wins the comedy category.

Which play are you expecting the most in the next six months?

Othello. I must read it one day anyway, so why not now? I am also curious about Wilde, since I've never touched any of his plays yet. I still don't know about the "free months." Maybe Sheridan's School for Scandal or Shaw's Pygmalion, or both.

Have you been participated in Let’s Read Plays memes? Are you excited to participate more in the future?

Yeah! I must admit that the history stuff quite drained my brain, but the rest were quite enjoyable. I didn't participate in the costume theme (shame on me), but I try my best not to miss anything anymore. As for the Character Thursday, of course I enjoy it. What's more amazing than fangilring or ranting about a character you love or hate? But it's hard for me to do it each month. I am not good at describing people, I guess.

So, there. Hope you enjoy the event as much as I do. :D