Monthly Archives: September 2022
Tonight, I’m going with a friend and coworker of mine to see the new movie Bros. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a gay romantic comedy that was released yesterday. I don’t go to the movies a lot, so this is a rare treat. We’re also going to do something that neither of us has done in at least a decade (and keep your eye rolls to yourself); we’re planning to have dinner at Olive Garden. Some people make fun of Olive Garden, but I like their salad and their Zuppa Toscano. I haven’t decided on an entree yet.
Anyway, I’m not just looking forward to Olive Garden, I’m also really looking forward to see Bros, mainly because Luke Macfarlane (the one in sunglasses above) is in it. I have such a crush on him and always have, even before he came out. The rest of this post is just a Luke Macfarlane appreciation post.
Is anybody else planning to see Bros?
After several very hectic weeks at work, things are finally slowing down and returning to normal. I’ve been able to catch up on some of my work on various projects that have fallen behind while I was busy with other duties at work. One of those projects will probably make my life a bit hectic again, but I’m hoping like all the teaching I was doing these last several weeks, it will be enjoyable. Now, if I can just get other people to do their jobs, it would make my life much easier, but I seem to have to keep hounding people to get things they owe me done. Eventually, it will all even out. My job has always been what my mother called “hurry up and wait.” It’s either feast or famine with either too many things going on at once or I’m waiting on other people to do their part and in the meantime there is not much for me to do. Thankfully, the weekend is almost here.
I don’t think you’re fully human if you don’t have some regrets in life. Sometimes, it’s just things you wished you knew or understood when you were younger. I try not to dwell on my regrets in life, but sometimes I look back and think, “I wish I’d done this instead.” One of those things is that I wished I knew how happy I’d be working in a museum, though it’s my experiences of trial and error in life that led me to my present job. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still wish I had chosen the museum field earlier instead of working all those years on a PhD or that I wish I’d gotten a dual masters in history and library science when I had the chance. The other thing I wish I could change is that I wish I’d gone further away to college and had been able to come to terms with my sexuality sooner. Teaching so many classes these last few weeks and interacting with so many college students, I can’t help but think of how much fun I could have had if I’d just accepted I was gay back in college. I probably would have been an absolute slut in college if I had, but it could have been fun. However, hindsight is 20/20. There’s nothing that can be done to change what happened in the past, and I think that’s one of the main lessons to be learned in life. No matter what we’ve done or didn’t do in our past, we can’t change it. We just have to accept it. We can only learn from it and strive for better in the future.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
By Robert Frost – 1874-1963
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
About the Poem
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” is one of Robert Frost’s very simple seeming poems, but holds much greater depth than you might think at first glance. However, it’s a beautiful poem for fall, especially as the leaves are beginning to turn to those beautiful autumn colors that the state is known for.
When it comes to understanding this poem, there can be a lot of pretentiousness in the analysis. Take for example these excerpts of reviews that are included on Wikipedia:
Alfred R. Ferguson wrote of the poem, “Perhaps no single poem more fully embodies the ambiguous balance between paradisiac good and the paradoxically more fruitful human good than ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay,’ a poem in which the metaphors of Eden and the Fall cohere with the idea of felix culpa.”
John A. Rea wrote about the poem’s “alliterative symmetry”, citing as examples the second line’s “hardest – hue – hold” and the seventh’s “dawn – down – day”; he also points out how the “stressed vowel nuclei also contribute strongly to the structure of the poem” since the back round diphthongs bind the lines of the poem’s first quatrain together while the front rising diphthongs do the same for the last four lines.
In 1984, William H. Pritchard called the poem’s “perfectly limpid, toneless assertion” an example of Frost demonstrating how “his excellence extended also to the shortest of figures”, and fitting Frost’s “later definition of poetry as a momentary stay against confusion.“
In 1993, George F. Bagby wrote the poem “projects a fairly comprehensive vision of experience” in a typical but “extraordinarily compressed” example of synecdoche that “moves from a detail of vegetable growth to the history of human failure and suffering.”
I have almost always found literary analysis to be mostly pretentious with the experts using “big words” to say something (such as paradisiac) that could have been said in simpler language. It’s a fault with most academics. If they can use $100 words and sound smart, they can fool people into believing that they really are smart. While a lot of them are, it’s still a whole lot of pretension. I had a literature professor once tell our class that William Faulkner stopped a sentence in one paragraph of the book we were reading and picked up the sentence a hundred pages into the book. How he knew this, he could never explain, nor could he actually make the two sentence “fragments” actually make sense together.
I’ve always believed it was much better to say things in plain language so that more people could understand. Education and academic pursuits are not meant to see how smart you can sound while trying to show your audience just how dumb you think they are. If you’re ever in an art museum in which a group of art historians are in front of you (this actually happened to me at the MFA in Boston) each trying to show the others that they know more than the next. It was a constant game of one-upmanship in which they all just came off as pompous asses.
With that rant being given about pretentious academics, I will say that “Nothing Gold Can Stay” is one of my favorite Frost poems. As the leaves turn a myriad of autumn shades in the next couple of weeks, they’ll soon fall to the ground and turn brown before being covered in snow a few weeks later. Autumn is beautiful in New England, especially Vermont, but it doesn’t last very long. One good rainstorm at the peak of the season can end the season in a matter of hours, not days or weeks. Back in Alabama, the leaves won’t begin to turn for many more weeks, but even then, there is not the rich variety of collars found in Vermont.
Since I had to work on Saturday, I had an abbreviated weekend. It’s back to work today. It wasn’t a particularly relaxing weekend, since I have had a migraine since Saturday. I blame it on the rain that started Saturday evening and lasted until this morning. Usually, my headaches get better once it starts raining. This one did not, and I still have a headache this morning. I went to bed last night around 8 pm, before I wrote a post for today, so it’s one of those rare times when I wrote my post in the morning instead of the night before. I’d love to stay home sick today, but I have an important meeting this morning. If this migraine doesn’t improve, I may have to call in sick and join the meeting virtually.