…about a photograph purporting to be of the young Louis Armstrong, please send your e-mail a second time. I inadvertently deleted it from my mailbox before replying and no longer have your return address. Apologies!
Archives for June 8, 2010
From a letter to Annabella Milbanke, the to-be Lady Byron, written in 1815:
I thank you very much for your suggestions on Religion – but I must tell you at the hazard of losing whatever good opinion your gentleness may have bestowed upon me – that it is a source from which I never did – & I believe never can derive comfort… why I came here – I know not – where I shall go it is useless to enquire – in the midst of myriads of the living & the dead worlds – stars – systems – infinity – why should I be anxious about an atom?
It is muggy in Asheville. Thunderstorms daily. This weekend we bought a bag of birdseed for the birdfeeder in the backyard. The birdfeeder’s been there since we moved in; a super-ugly structure, like a miniature, maroonish Brady Bunch house stuck on a high narrow pole, cemented into place. We scraped off seven years of cobwebs and filled it. About two hours later, a squirrel climbed up it, the pole broke, and the birdfeeder, seed and squirrel came tumbling down. Squirrel last seen riding off into the sunset, belching Eastern songbird mix.
My other weekend purchase was two books, Louise Glück’s Wild Iris and David Lipsky’s book about David Foster Wallace, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. Here’s a bit of Glück for you, from one of her “Matins” poems, middle removed:
I see it is with you as with the birches:
I am not to speak to you
in the personal way. Much
has passed between us. Or
was it always only
on the one side?
… I might as well go on
addressing the birches,
as in my former life: let them
do their worst, let them
bury me with the Romantics,
their pointed yellow leaves
falling and covering me.
“All I know for sure is that so far as I have been able to determine, nothing you can possibly imagine is impossible. Somebody’s doing it or is going to do it. That goes for the good as well as the bad.”
James A. Michener, Tales of the South Pacific