Friday, December 25, 2009

nice anthology of Christmas Poems...

A Christmas Carol

So now is come our joyful feast,
  Let every man be jolly;
Each room with ivy leaves is dressed,
  And every post with holly.
     Though some churls at our mirth repine,
     Round your foreheads garlands twine,
     Drown sorrow in a cup of wine,
  And let us all be merry.

Now all our neighbors' chimnies smoke,
  And Christmas blocks are burning;
Their ovens they with baked meats choke,
  And all their spits are turning.
     Without the door let sorrow lie,
     And if for cold it hap to die,
     We'll bury it in a Christmas pie,
  And evermore be merry.

Now every lad is wondrous trim,
  And no man minds his labor;
Our lasses have provided them
  A bagpipe and a tabor.
     Young men and maids, and girls and boys,
     Give life to one another's joys;
     And you anon shall by their noise
  Perceive that they are merry.

Rank misers now do sparing shun,
  Their hall of music soundeth;
And dogs thence with whole shoulders run,
  So all things aboundeth.
     The country-folk themselves advance,
     For crowdy-mutton's come out of France;
     And Jack shall pipe and Jill shall dance,
  And all the town be merry.

Ned Swatch hath fetched his bands from pawn,
  And all his best apparel;
Brisk Nell hath bought a ruff of lawn
  With droppings of the barrel.
     And those that hardly all the year
     Had bread to eat or rags to wear,
     Will have both clothes and dainty fare,
  And all the day be merry.

Now poor men to the justices
  With capons make their errands;
And if they hap to fail of these,
They plague them with their warrants.
     But now they feed them with good cheer,
     And what they want they take in beer,
     For Christmas comes but once a year,
And then they shall be merry.

Good farmers in the country nurse
  The poor, that else were undone;
Some landlords spend their money worse,
  On lust and pride at London.
     There the roisters they do play,
     Drab and dice their land away,
     Which may be ours another day;
  And therefore let's be merry.

The client now his suit forbears,
  The prisoner's heart is eased;
The debtor drinks away his cares,
  And for the time is pleased.
     Though others' purses be more fat,
     Why should we pine or grieve at that;
     Hang sorrow, care will kill a cat,
  And therefore let's be merry.

Hark how the wags abroad do call
  Each other forth to rambling;
Anon you'll see them in the hall,
  For nuts and apples scrambling;
     Hark how the roofs with laughters sound,
     Anon they'll think the house goes round;
     For they the cellar's depths have found,
  And there they will be merry.

The wenches with their wassail-bowls
  About the streets are singing;
The boys are come to catch the owls,
  The wild mare in is bringing.
     Our kitchen boy hath broke his box,
     And to the dealing of the ox
     Our honest neighbors come by flocks,
  And here they will be merry.

Now kings and queens poor sheep-cotes have,
  And mate with everybody;
The honest now may play the knave,
  And wise men play at noddy.
     Some youths will now a mumming go,
     Some others play at rowland-hoe,
     And twenty other gameboys moe;
  Because they will be merry.

Then wherefore in these merry days
  Should we, I pray, be duller?
No, let us sing some roundelays
  To make our mirth the fuller.
     And whilst we thus inspired sing,
     Let all the streets with echoes ring;
     Woods, and hills, and everything
  Bear witness we are merry.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Local trees & c.

(Kalle Anka) & Swedish Christmas Eve

The show's cultural significance cannot be understated. You do not tape or DVR Kalle Anka for later viewing. You do not eat or prepare dinner while watching Kalle Anka. Age does not matter—every member of the family is expected to sit quietly together and watch a program that generations of Swedes have been watching for 50 years. Most families plan their entire Christmas around Kalle Anka, from the Smörgåsbord at lunch to the post-Kalle visit from Jultomten. "At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, you can't to do anything else, because Sweden is closed," Lena Kättström Höök, a curator at the Nordic Museum who manages the "Traditions" exhibit, told me. "So even if you don't want to watch it yourself, you can't call anyone else or do anything else, because no one will do it with you..."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice readers!!

The men who stare at bar-codes

Working out of a Reno, Nevada, software firm called eTreppid Technologies, Montgomery took in officials in the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology and convinced them that technology he invented -- but could not explain -- was pulling terrorist-produced "bar codes" from Al Jazeera television broadcasts. Using his proprietary technology, those bar codes could be translated into longitudes and latitudes and flight numbers. Terrorist leaders were using that data to direct their compatriots about the next target...

wonderful Walt (Pogo) Kelly blog...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

NASA - Hubble's Festive View of a Grand Star-Forming Region

The massive, young stellar grouping, called R136, is only a few million years old and resides in the 30 Doradus Nebula, a turbulent star-birth region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. There is no known star-forming region in our galaxy as large or as prolific as 30 Doradus.

Many of the diamond-like icy blue stars are among the most massive stars known. Several of them are over 100 times more massive than our Sun. These hefty stars are destined to pop off, like a string of firecrackers, as supernovas in a few million years...

Notes toward an ecology of the practice of poetry

The implications for poetry here are interesting. What does poetry look like if there’s no split between human word and world? What does a non-anthropocentric poetics look like? Is it a celebration of the democracy of all objects? Along the lines of: “Hello! tree” And what would a non-modern poetry look like? A poetry that would not privilege (the human realm nor) its own language.