Wednesday, July 9, 2008

weds 9 july 5:19pm

Natasha was walking along the very edge of the water, so that the childsize waves of the lake plashed up to her feet. Somewhere beyond the woods a train passed, as if it were travelling along a musical string, and both of them stopped to listen. The day had become a bit more golden, a bit softer, and the woods on the far side of the lake now had a bluish cast.
Near the train station, Wolfe bought a paper bag of plums, but they turned out to be sour. Seated in the empty wooden compartment of the train, he threw them at intervals out the window, and kept regretting that, in the cafe, he had not filched some of those cardboard disks you put under beer mugs.
"They soar so beautifully, Natasha, like birds. It's a joy to watch."
--from "Natasha" by Vladimir Nabokov

the end is breathtaking--a fact especially felt by this reader, who was jogging a nine-min mile when her eyes scanned the triumphantly eerie verses that threw her whole body into a cold sweat.

***

this afternoon a friend came over for tea & company while we read together. what better way to spend a lazy afternoon than in the richly contented presence of a fellow book-lover? each up to his or her own interest, yet still connected by a busy mind? i chose poetry--gwendolyn brooks' BLACKS, in fact. here's one i like, that made me think of another of my best friends, jina:

at the hairdresser's

Gimme an upsweep, Minnie,
With humpteen baby curls.
'Bout time I got some glamour.
I'll show them girls.

Think they so fly a-struttin'
With they wool a-blowin' 'round.
Wait'll they see my upsweep.
That'll jop 'em back on the ground.

Got Madam C.J. Walker's first.
Got Poro Grower next.
Ain't none of 'em worked with me, Min.
But I ain't vexed.

Long hair's out of style anyhow, ain't it?
Now it's tie it up high with curls.
So gimme an upsweep, Minnie.
I'll show them girls.

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