Sunday, January 28, 2007

Baby Picture 012807


Attention baby photo lovers! Here's a cute pair, available for sale on istockphoto.com. Mind-numbingly cute infants in a clam shell! Wonder what they smell like? What are their personalities like? Do their parents want them to be doctors? lawyers? artists?

Which reminds us--an interesting little habit is developing in the West Village! Dinner and Discussion! (part of the Flourish! and Grow! motto in action!) Been meeting with Linda to talk about poets you're supposed to know about, but don't always really actually know enough about. Take William Blake. Last Friday, over a delicious dinner of Minnestrone! and Ravioli!, accompanied by wonderful House Wine! and Espresso! we discussed the ins and outs of Blake. Linda--an amazingly accomplished researcher who digs up facts that would put most biographers to shame--informed us that all those beautiful color illustrations you see in Blake books were actually each(!) hand painted by he and his wife each night. No color reprographics in those days, no Kinko's. Blake was an engraver by trade and the only reproductions used black ink, until the paint brushes hit the page at the end of the day.

Discussion included the Best of Blake, inlcuding this one:

Infant Joy
I have no name:
I am but two days old.
What shall I call thee:
I happy am,
Joy is my name.
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy, but two days old.
Sweet joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile,
I sing the while,
Sweet joy befall thee!

Camille Paglia's interesting take on this poem is that it is practically an open invitation to sadists worldwide to do their thing, because of it's subject's open, frank innocence. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and Blake--per Paglia--sees Nature as a rough nightmare, a kill or be killed arena. In Blake's drawing Nature is far bigger than any human, and the flower appears about to swallow them, poor things. And they deserve what they get. Or do they? Did Blake see innocence as a poor defensive position, made to bolster attention, regardless of result? Or was he just describing innocence in its most pure form, a little baby who had no words, trying to figure out the planet on his own?

Next week, it's back to Anne Sexton, with Karen's so kind invitation to join her poetry group for a discuss of You, Doctor Martin, et al.

1 comment:

Ms. K said...

Kudos to the poetic dinner discussions. I could use a bit of education on those same poets! I fast-forwarded past them to the New York poets and onward.