No woman deserves a wimpy shadow.
An interesting discussion: The Human Race, handled with care, by Laura Cummings in the Guardian.
Apparently, today is Take-your-poet-to-work Day…Well, it would be pretty crowded in the studio then. I have been meaning to read some more Pushkin. I have unfortunately not seen the Eugene Onegin opera, but you can listen to it here! Just as delicious, you can listen to the translated poem here, read by the inimitable Stephen Fry. The poem has been translated by various people, including Vladimir Nabokov and Douglas R. Hofstadter (of Gödel, Escher,Bach).
There is a beautiful ink self-portrait of Pushkin on the Wikipedia site:
This poem seemed apt:
Vous me demandez mon portrait,
Mais peint d’après nature :
Mon cher, il sera bientôt fait,
Quoique en miniature.
Je sais un jeune polisson
Encore dans les classes :
Point sot, je le dis sans façon
Et sans fades grimaces.
Onc, il ne fut de babillard,
Ni docteur de Sorbonne
Plus ennuyeux et plus braillard
Que moi-même en personne.
(Another interesting resource I found, as translated by G.R Ledger: Pushkin’s Poems…)
Since changing into a cat
I cannot read anymore
The world has cats
Cats that vomit up hairballs
Dogs that gobble it up
I wish there were more whales
that vomited verdigris
Is that green-grey?
(green prom dress made with love
to match my eyes
the wrong green
the wrong green
not chromium oxide green
not sap green
not olive green
the colour of seared leprechaun green)
No, Payne’s grey, verdigris
a mix of fine ash and bees wax
with kernels of golden squid beaks
Those whales, how they
spy-hop and make sweet!
I am hungry for
(via The Uffish Thumb)
I was reminded of a sketch I did many years ago when I read this interesting blog post on the Interesting Literature site. I always liked the name Imogen.
“3. Cymbeline. This is unusual among Shakespeare’s plays, being one of the ‘problem plays’ – named partly because the central character must face some sort of social problem (in this case, Cunobelinus, the British king – or ‘Cymbeline’ – has to deal with the Romans who have occupied Britain) and partly because the play doesn’t fit comfortably into either genre, comedy or tragedy. This play, written late in Shakespeare’s career, features the famous song ‘Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun’ (which, despite its status as a great tragic lament, is actually sung to an empty tomb, since the character in whose honour it is performed is not actually dead).
Interesting Fact: The girls’ name Imogen derives from this play – probably from a misprint. Somewhere along the line, the pre-existing name ‘Innogen’ (meaning ‘girl, maiden’) was misread as ‘Imogen’, with the ‘nn’ being confused for a letter ‘m’. Girls named Imogen have been thankful ever since (or should be!).”
(Note that the original piece does not contain the embedded links to Wikipedia. I put them in for further context, and because I find them interesting.)
I love this tidbit From Wikipedia’s entry on Cymbeline:
“Probably the most famous verses in the play come from the funeral song of Act IV, Scene 2, which begins: