Sunday, May 24, 2009

Slaty

This one's striking in part because it's pronounced quite differently than it's written.

From Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, a book I last read c. 1996 and am reading again.

George, the elder, exhibited an ebony-tipped nose, surrounded by a narrow margin of pink flesh, and a coat marked in random splotches approximating in colour to white and slaty grey; but the grey, after years of sun and rain, had been scorched and washed out of the more prominent locks, leaving them of a reddish-brown, as if the blue component of the grey had faded, like the indigo from the same kind of colour in Turner's pictures.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Glary, by way of Persnickety

I almost chose persnickety, as passed in the online Times article about Daniel Boulud, who, thankfully, does not grade on a curve. Grading food on a curve is a very bad idea, as everybody should know.

That said, I found my eyes wandering toward the bookshelf and noticing Andre (accent on the e) Aciman's False Papers. In the chapter titled In Search of Blue, Aciman writes:

It is when I am almost blinded by light in New York City that I remember the sea on glary sunny days.

The previous chapter, Alexandria: The Capital of Memory, quotes Cavafy:

For you won't find a new country,
won't find a new shore,
the city will always pursue you,
and no ship will ever take you away from yourself.

No doubt that goes for country folk, too.

All this going-awayity brings to mind a poem a 12- or 13-year-old student wrote in or around 1932. When I put my hands on it, I'll see about posting it on On a Clear Day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Oary

As seen in the Prelude of Middlemarch (Barnes & Noble Classics edition).

Here and there a cygnet is reared uneasily among the ducklings in the brown pond, and never finds the living stream in fellowship with its own oary-footed kind.