Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A Speech to the Garden Club of America in the New Yorker, of course.
(With thanks to Wes Jackson and in memory of Sir Albert Howard and Stan Rowe.)
Thank you. I’m glad to know we’re friends, of course;
There are so many outcomes that are worse.
But I must add I’m sorry for getting here
By a sustained explosion through the air,
Burning the world in fact to rise much higher
Than we should go. The world may end in fire
As prophesied—our world! We speak of it
As “fuel” while we burn it in our fit
Of temporary progress, digging up
An antique dark-held luster to corrupt
The present light with smokes and smudges, poison
To outlast time and shatter comprehension.
Burning the world to live in it is wrong,
As wrong as to make war to get along
And be at peace, to falsify the land
By sciences of greed, or by demand
For food that’s fast or cheap to falsify
The body’s health and pleasure—don’t ask why.
But why not play it cool? Why not survive
By Nature’s laws that still keep us alive?
Let us enlighten, then, our earthly burdens
By going back to school, this time in gardens
That burn no hotter than the summer day.
By birth and growth, ripeness, death and decay,
By goods that bind us to all living things,
Life of our life, the garden lives and sings.
The Wheel of Life, delight, the fact of wonder,
Contemporary light, work, sweat, and hunger
Bring food to table, food to cellar shelves.
A creature of the surface, like ourselves,
The garden lives by the immortal Wheel
That turns in place, year after year, to heal
It whole. Unlike our economic pyre
That draws from ancient rock a fossil fire,
An anti-life of radiance and fume
That burns as power and remains as doom,
The garden delves no deeper than its roots
And lifts no higher than its leaves and fruits.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The Europeans have lived high off the U.S. security umbrella. With problems at home, the U.S. should fold the umbrella and tell the always-there-for-them Europeans to fend for themselves. Then we can see how successful the socialist paradigm will operate.
A sound Nixon man and a better writer, Safire was always refreshing to read on the pages of an institution that epitomizes the liberal media.
This is a big loss.
More from The Daily Beast.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
When a trip to the Produce Center in Chelsea for cases of tomatoes signals not only September but the time to make a year's supply of tomato sauce.
Since the arrival of Italian immigrants in East Boston, the canning (or bottling to be precise) of tomatoes for Sunday morning sauces commences with the harvest. Some tomatoes are grown in backyards along with basil; others are purchased in Chelsea. Either way they are enjoyed year round once the flavor has been sealed in air tight jars
For a few days in the crispy air of fall, a pleasant smell of basil and tomato wafts through cellars below the three-deckers on the island that is known as East Boston. Those jars make Sunday possible.
There will be fewer of these days as time, that eternal constraint, and a generation of Italian families passes. Precious they are indeed those cellars in the autumn.
He drew scorn because he met the supposed intellectual superiority of American liberalism head on. As one asked in other context on another blog: Is it more embarrassing to follow the insight of Irving Kristol or Karl Marx? For those who choose the latter as the touchstone of intellectualism in modern life, the answer is quite embarrassing indeed. And they have yet to come up with an answer to Irving Kristol.
More from the Wall Street Journal here.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The exhilarating voice was the narrative to the art that was Bobby Orr, the greatest hockey player ever.
Fred Cusick will be missed.
Hat tip to RedMassGroup.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
For most 9/11 families, today’s eighth anniversary of the horrific attacks stings as much as the past seven.
But some are finding new comfort in President Obama’s recognition of Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance - a measure pushed by U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in his final days.
“On 9/11, so many people came forward to do so many good things,” said Cindy McGinty, whose 42-year-old husband, Mike, was killed in the World Trade Center. “That’s what I would like the day to generate again.”
In that spirit, relatives of many Bay State victims will taken part not only in memorial services, but also community service projects, including a walk today on the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway to benefit soldiers and their families.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
The solitude of a rural used book store in Plainfield, Vermont. The Country Bookshop on Mill Street is a feast for the restive mind.
Here are some of the titles I picked up for a song this past weekend.
Michael Grant, Julius Ceasar
Luciana Ferrara, The Treasures of the Borghese Gallery
Charles Mackay, LL. D. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
James Bruce Ross & Mary Martin McLauglin, The Portable Medieval Reader
Ian Stewart, Nature's Numbers
and my favorite Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
In The Night Orchard
by R. T. Smith
I know, because Paul has told me
a hundred times, that the deer
gliding tonight through tangleweed
and trashwood, then bounding across
Mount Atlas Road, are after his pears.
And who could blame them?
On the threshold of autumn, the Asian
imports, more amazing than any Seckle
or indigenous apple, start to ripen.
Then a passing crow will peck one open.
That's when the whitetails who bed
and gather beyond Matson's pasture
will catch the scent and begin to stir.
It's a dry time, and they go slowly mad
for sweetness. No fence can stop them.
The farmers like Paul will admit
it starts in hunger, but how suddenly
need goes to frenzy and sheer plunder.
When the blush-gold windfalls are gone
and the low boughs are stripped
of anything resembling bounty, bucks
will rise on their hind legs and clamber
up the trunks. Last week Cecil Emore
found one strangled in a fork,
his twisted antlers tangled as if
some hunter had hung him there
to cure. We all remember what it's like,
this driven season, this delirium
for something not yet given a name,
but the world turns us practical, tames
us to yearn for milder pleasures.
For Augustine, it was actual pears
that brought him out of the shadows
and over a wall, for Eve, the secret
inside what we now say was an apple.
Others have given up safety for less,
and I wonder, catching an eight-point
buck outlined on the ridge amid spruce,
if it's this moonstruck nature that renders
the ruminants beautiful, or if we stalk
them out of envy, not for the grace
of their gliding, but for the unadorned
instinct that draws them after dark
into trespass and the need to ruin
the sweetest thing they've ever known.
"In The Night Orchard" by R. T. Smith, from Brightwood. (c) Louisiana State University Press, 2004. Reprinted on this blog without permission.
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