Saturday, September 25, 2004

halcyon, n. and a.

("h&lsI@n, "h&lSI@n) Forms: 4 alceon, alicion, 6 alcion, halsion, 6-7 halcion, 7 alcian, 6- alcyon, halcyon. [a. L. halcyon, more properly alcyon, a. Gr. 2kjtÝm kingfisher.
The spelling 3k- hal-, is supposed to have arisen out of the fancy that the word was f. 6k-| sea + jÊxm conceiving, connected with the fable that the halcyon broods upon her nest floating on the calm sea in the ‘halcyon days’.]
A. n.
1. A bird of which the ancients fabled that it bred about the time of the winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea, and that it charmed the wind and waves so that the sea was specially calm during the period: usually identified with a species of kingfisher, hence a poetic name of this bird.
1390 Gower Conf. II. 106 (Bodl. MS. 294) Hir briddes Šit+Of Alceon þe name bere. 1398 Trevisa Barth. De P.R. xix. lxxix. (1495) 910 In the cliffe of a ponde of Occean, Alicion, a see foule, in wynter maketh her neste and layeth egges in vii dayes and sittyth on brood+seuen dayes. 1545 Joye Exp. Dan. Ep. Ded. (R.), Thei saye, that in the+coldest tyme of the yere, these halcions (making their nestis in the sea rockis or sandis) wille sitte their egges and hatche forth their chickens. c1592 Marlowe Jew of Malta i. i, How stands the wind? Into what corner peers my halcyon's bill? a1631 Drayton Noah's Flood (R.), There came the halcyon, whom the sea obeys, When she her nest upon the water lays. c1750 Shenstone Elegies v. 22 So smiles the surface of the treach'rous main As o'er its waves the peaceful halcyons play. 1819 J. H. Wiffen Aonian Hours (1820) 104 The brilliant halcyons+fluttering upon azure wings, appear Loveliest above secluded waters. 1867 Contemp. Rev. VI. 252 The alcyon sits her floating nest. a1649 Drummond of Hawthornden Poems Wks. (1711) 39/1 Makes Scotland's name to fly On halcyons wings+Beyond the ocean to Columbus shores. 1880 Goldw. Smith in Atlantic Monthly No. 268. 200 The halcyons of literature, art, and science were floating on the calm and sunlit sea.
b. In Zool. a kingfisher of the Australasian genus Halcyon, or of the subfamily Halcyoninæ.
1772-84 Cook Voy. (1790) V. 1805 We found the halcyon, or great king-fisher, having fine bright colours. 1802 R. Brooke's Gazetteer (ed. 12) s.v. P. William's Sound, The birds found here were the halcyon, or great kingfisher [etc.].
†2. Calm, quietude, halcyon days. Obs.
1647 Trapp Comm. Matt. ix. 15 Our halcyons here are but as marriage feasts, for continuance. 1654 I Comm. Ps. ii. 4 By this means the Church had an happy Halcyon. 1748 Richardson Clarissa (1811) II. 4 'Tis well one of us does [want courting], else the man would having nothing but halcyon. 1797 A. M. Bennett Beggar Girl (1813) IV. 144 All, therefore, was halcyon with Mrs. Woudbe.
B. attrib. passing into adj.
1. Of, or pertaining to, the halcyon or kingfisher. halcyon days [Gr. 2kjtom¬de| ™lŒqai, L. alcyonei dies, alcyonides, alcedonia]: fourteen days of calm weather, anciently believed to occur about the winter solstice when the halcyon was brooding.
For the allusion in quot. 1605 see kingfisher.
[1540 R. Hyrde tr. Vives' Instr. Chr. Wom. (1592) Pj, Wherefore those daies be called in Latine Halcionii, that is as you would say, the Halcion birdes daies. 1545 Joye Exp. Dan. 2a (Stanf.), I remembred the halcyons dayes. 1591 Shakes. 1 Hen. VI, i. ii. 131 Expect Saint Martins Summer, Halcyons dayes.] 1601 Holland Pliny x. xxxii. (R.), They lay and sit about mid-winter+and the time whiles they are broodie, is called the halcyon daies: for during that season the sea is calm and navigable, especially in the coast of Sicilie. 1605 Shakes. Lear ii. ii. 84 Bring oile to fire, snow to the colder moodes+and turne their Halcion beakes With euery gale, and varry of their Masters. 1839 Penny Cycl. XIII. 230/1 The fable of the floating cradle in which during the Halcyon dayes the bird was said to rear its young.
2. Calm, quiet, peaceful, undisturbed. (Usually qualifying days.)
1578 Chr. Prayers in Priv. Prayers (1851) 464 It hath pleased thy grace to give us these Alcyon days, which yet we enjoy. 1631 Gouge God's Arrows v. xvii. 429 Were our daies more halcyon, more quiet and peaceable. 1641 Evelyn Mem. (1857) I. 12 Fortifications (a great rarity in that blessed halcyon time in England). 1665 Sir T. Herbert Trav. (1677) 11 When two are seen, they foretel Halcyon weather. 1841 D'Israeli Amen. Lit. (1867) 250 Peace and policy had diffused a halcyon calmness over the land. 1878 Masque Poets 218 The bird of love, in days so truly halcyon, Upon the billows well might build her nest.

Z"halcyonine, a.

Of or pertaining to the subfamily of kingfishers (Halcyoninæ) of which the genus Halcyon is the type.


[An incorrect form of halcyon, prob. influenced by L. alcedo kingfisher.]
= halcyon 1. Hence †halcy"donian a. [cf. L. alcedonia the halcyon days], calm, tranquil.
1611 Coryat Crudities 389 It enioyeth great peace and a very halcedonian time. 1647 A. Ross Muse's Interpr. viii. (1675) 145 The Halcyons or Halcydons were said, I think, to be begot of Lucifer.

†halcyonian, a.

(h&lsI"@UnI@n) Also 7 halci-. [f. L. (h)alcyoni-us of the halcyon + -an.]
Of or pertaining to the Halcyon; calm, quiet, peaceful; = halcyon B.
1617 Drummond of Hawthornden Forth Feasting, What halcyonian days thy reign should give. 1650 A. B. Mutat. Polemo 11 Halcionian quiet times at Sea. 1659 Hammond On Ps. xciv. 15 The halcyonian dayes that the Christians had.
 Posted by Hello

A lonesome slow September bee
could let out of a lightbox be
(like me) and with some comfort
say "It's evening"--
Friday even--
intermitent interminable
cotillion of horse trailers,
logging trucks, watertank trucks,
oil trucks (a dry, cold fall they
nodding wish to one another)
ATV's ridden by little boys
in Ninja suits, horse
and riders, bicycles with
third wheel kid extentions
hinged off the back (traffic vests,
pennants, but no
working pedal--the passengers,
tufts of hair poking out
from under their helmets
abstractly regard their
mother's pumping flanks)
a digger arrives
with ceremony (still here the
next 10;04 but idle) on
the back of a big trailer,
cab airbraking with a tired
grumpy hiss, cough
of oil smoke dead stop and then
the grader swings around,
drops its big jaw
to the ground, pivoting
on its forehead
a breaker's spin
off the trailer
and onto the dirt
with a recovery
that becomes a flourish,
and like that the trailer
snaps back, is turned
and up the hill and out
the trailer truck
as it rounds (too fast) Scotchtown
onto Dick is close enough
to shear the house
like an egg
a foot below the windows.

 Posted by Hello

back in in April, blog of UK number 1's Popular on the Lonnie Donegan/George Formby paradigm--

"The music-hall was dying if not dead by 1960, having hit a steep decline with the rise of the cinema. Shorn of the audience's boozing and flirting, the ribald style of music hall was kept alive by light entertainment - the winking not-quite-naughtiness you hear on this record was still a going concern when I was a child, showing up every time some interminable, deferential Royal Variety Performance reached a musical number. When I first heard 'Dustman', that was the context I immediately fitted it to - its roaring audience for me will perpetually include a gin-pickled Queen Mum.

In 1960 it would hopefully have seemed fresher - surely the million owners of the record will have given the thing more plays than I can stand to (An unbridgeable cultural gap is summoned up in the delighted squeal from one audience member when Donegan says 'flippin'' at 0'31'). Unlike, say, George Formby's big hits, 'Dustman' in 2004 is a remorselessly unfunny record. Donegan was a natural showman but his sledgehammer timing here is pretty excruciating - the pause before every punchline which is further telegraphed by i) being sung in a 'dirty' voice that sounds a bit like Roland Rat, ii) gouts of audience hysterics. Formby, to continue the slightly unfair comparison, delivers his punchlines straight, moves smoothly into the next verse and leaves the audience a split-second to work out by themselves just how filthy he's being." Posted by Hello

Friday, September 24, 2004

Jack Kirby/Brian Wilson... Posted by Hello

(the artist working on "Office Baroque" 1977)
gymnast vandalises two Matta-Clark works

"The 35-year-old woman, who was not identified but was known to police for causing disturbances, attacked 'Office Baroque,' a cutout section of wall by American artist Gordon Matta-Clark. She did a series of head-over-heels flips before landing on the work in a handstand, punching both her arms through the drywall, said Klaus Dieter Lehmann, president of Berlin's Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. She then ran across the large room, pushing over a section of a spray-painted truck called 'Graffiti Truck,' also by Matta-Clark, bending back the metal roof." Posted by Hello

time tales "is a collection of found photographs. found at fleamarkets, thriftshops, some are scooped up from streets and alleyways, fallen from an overstuffed bag or torn pocket. others turn up in a cabinet's hidden compartment, found while wandering the rooms of an abandoned house. "

(thank you obliteratedPosted by Hello

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

cylinders from the pulpstone quarry, from Newcastle Island by Mr. Taylor's class Posted by Hello

nice Granite Water Tank near Austin Posted by Hello
Worse than Vietnam

" 'I've never seen it so bad between the office of the secretary of defence and the military. There's a significant majority believing this is a disaster. The two parties whose interests have been advanced have been the Iranians and al-Qaida. Bin Laden could argue with some cogency that our going into Iraq was the equivalent of the Germans in Stalingrad. They defeated themselves by pouring more in there. Tragic.' "

lots new at the peerless UBUWEB, including Larry Rivers on tenor and a classroom of Oakland kids performing Gertrude Stein, Duchamp on musette and Braniac on banjo doing "Malaguena", etc but the prize is Edward Dorn reading "The North Atlantic Turbine" in 1967. Hearing the tape of this at Gerry Gilbert's New Era Social Club in the early 80's set me on my heels and I'm still wobbling, o aklavik...

and this goes double for any of you young poets out there! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

the examined life

"People who keep diaries are more likely than non-diary-keepers to suffer from insomnia, headaches, social dysfunction and 'generally feeling crappy,' a British study shows.

The longer people keep diaries, the worse they feel. And worst of all are those who go back and re-read old entries."

Monday, September 20, 2004

good mail from England; a plush set of Moominpapa (my hero and role model) and Moominmama (with a wee functioning purse) from newly-hitched cousin Rob and Judith, and issue 19 of the elegant, pocket-ready Tolling Elves featuring the opening sections of "Ballyhoo" by Deirdre Kovac ("timeline launder glasshouse bowler'd tin got me/coming all sucker grin gone up country pleasures' out box") and art by Erin Wade. Kitoos! Posted by Hello
Bill Moyers

"One of the biggest changes in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. How do we fathom and explain the mindset of violent exhibitionists and extremists who blow to smithereens hundreds of children and teachers of Middle School Number One in Beslan, Russia? Or the radical utopianism of martyrs who crash hijacked planes into the World Trade Center? How do we explain the possibility that a close election in November could turn on several million good and decent citizens who believe in the Rapture Index? That's what I said--the Rapture Index; Google it and you will understand why the best-selling books in America today are the 12 volumes of the 'Left Behind' series that have earned multi-millions of dollars for their co-authors, who, earlier this year, completed a triumphant tour of the Bible Belt whose buckle holds in place George W. Bush's armor of the Lord. These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the l9th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative millions of people believe to be literally true.

According to this narrative, Jesus will return to earth only when certain conditions are met: when Israel has been established as a state; when Israel then occupies the rest of its "biblical lands;" when the third temple has been rebuilt on the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosques; and, then, when legions of the Antichrist attack Israel. This will trigger a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon during which all the Jews who have not converted will be burned. Then the Messiah returns to earth. The Rapture occurs once the big battle begins. True believers will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to heaven where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts and frogs during the several years of tribulation which follow.

I’m not making this up. We’re reported on these people for our weekly broadcast on PBS, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you that they feel called to help bring the Rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That’s why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It’s why they have staged confrontations at the old temple site in Jerusalem. It’s why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the 9th chapter of the Book of Revelations where four angels “which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released “to slay the third part of men.’ As the British writer George Monbiot has pointed out, for these people, the Middle East is not a foreign policy issue, it’s a biblical scenario, a matter of personal belief. A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed; if there’s a conflagration there, they come out winners on the far side of tribulation, inside the pearly gates, in celestial splendor, supping on ambrosia to the accompaniment of harps plucked by angels."

British libertarian take on Super Size Me

"On both sides of the Atlantic there's a large portion of moralising in the panics over obesity, school dinners, junk-food-guzzling and the rest. What is presented as straightforward medical concern for our health and wellbeing is often really a judgement on lifestyle and behaviour - and especially the lifestyle and behaviour of a certain class of people. In debates about 'bad' foods (McDonald's), fast foods (microwave meals), and fat mums in clingy leggings who make their kids fat too by feeding them 'junk', there's a barely concealed contempt for the working classes, who are presumed to be lazy, feckless and not sufficiently concerned with healthy cooking and fitness. It's there in the terminology: they are seen as 'junk' people."