Iseult of Brittany

So delicate my hands, and long,
They might have been my pride.
And there were those to make them song
Who for their touch had died.

Too frail to cup a heart within,
Too soft to hold the free-
How long these lovely hands have been
A bitterness to me!
This is mainly a reminder for myself to google when I return. I spent approximately 24 hours in museums this week, and saw umpty-hundred-something Allegories of Charity. These usually look like a woman feeding and playing with a bunch of kids Why are these kids overwhelmingly boys, to the tune of (rough estimate here) 5 to 1? Are baby penises somehow more awwww, or is there an actual art history explanation?


Jun. 2nd, 2016 12:52 pm
Why don't I read more Boccaccio?
Today's news-to-me story is Gualdrada, who told her own father to shut up when he offered up a kiss from her to Emperor Otto in front of assorted nobles, which impressed everyone and netted her a nice dowry and a baron for a husband.

No word on what happened with the kissing once the baron took her and dowry over to Otto's court. Color me cynical.

O WESTERN wind, when wilt thou blow
That the small rain down can rain?
Christ, that my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again!
Catherine Faber

She is Gone

Melody and lyrics © 1994 by Catherine Faber

She is dressed for sin, in a blouse so thin, with her hair like sunlit flame,
Fifteen years old, looking scared and cold, and Candy is her name.
Now a man drives by with a hungry eye and a fifty dollar note.
And he drives her out down a country route with a jacknife in his coat.

She is gone, she is gone, and the earth closed over her head.
Like the ones before, just a worthless whore,
Selling sin to buy her bread.

So intent is he that he does not see that his quarry's fear has passed;
A fresh grave waits by the junkyard gates, the seventh, and the last.
Now he lays her down on the cold damp ground, with the moss to make her bed.
Where the willow grieves, with its rustling leaves, like the voices of the dead.

Now he stills her shout as the knife comes out, and he puts his face to hers:
"Six lives I fear I have taken here, the seventh shall be yours."
But the small cold fist that grips his wrist has all his strength and more.
"Oh no," says she, "that shall not be -- for I've been here before."

"There are five," she sighs, "who stretch and rise, to pay you for your tricks.
Beneath the firs where the grave-dirt stirs, for I was number six.
Chill and dumb from their graves they come, to serve you in my stead.
And more besides -- they shall be your brides, to grace your wedding bed."

Folk songs

May. 20th, 2016 11:14 am
Awesome post courtesy of [personal profile] andrewducker, but they are missing some countries.

Russian traditional folk songs:
I was in the army for 20 years, came back, and killed my wife
I was n the army for 20 years, came back, wanted to kill my wife, but turns out she's dead already
The army is my wife
I was in the army and I got killed
My boyfriend went off to join the army and got killed
Yay, army!
My girlfriend is dead and I must die as well
My boyfriend does not love me and I must die
I almost died, but my boyfriend came back
My boyfriend came back with a wife
My husband does not love me, and I'm drunk
I got drunk and flirted, my husband will beat me
When you grow up, little girl, you'll get married to someone who likes to fight. Also it's raining all the time.

Russian 20th century onward folk songs:

The queen is unfaithful and she must die
The princess has lust in her heart and she must die
The troubadour sings about love and must die
I'm a thief and I die for love
I'm a robber and I die for love
I love a thief and die for love
I am a robber and accidentally killed my entire family
I love a thief, mama, you just don't get it
I love a sailor, mama, you just don't get it
I love the guy in yellow shoes, mama, you just don't get it
I loved a guy, my family didn't get it, I killed him and must now die for love
Hey, there, little apple, we live today and die tomorrow
Hey there, little chicken, you will be arrested and die in jail
The cowboy dies for love
The peasant girl dies for love, and not because her boyfriend cut her throat
The Latin-American dancer dies for love and not because her boyfriend shot her and her other boyfriend
The French dancer dies for love and not because some guy shot her and another guy she was dancing with
Dad kills five orphaned children for love
Dad is into law, son is into robbery, everyone dies
Women are unfaithful and everyone dies
There's a war and everyone dies mainly because women are unfaithful
There's lots of incest in Europe and everyone dies
There's incest in San Francisco and everyone dies
It's good to be a cowboy!
It's good to be an archaeologist!
It's good to be a mountain climber!
It's good to be a hiker!
I'm a thief, but I love my mom and it's society's fault

Russian Gypsy folk songs:
Our lives are worse than the Russians'
My husband killed my baby and threw me out into the snow
Look, ma, horses!

Вот тут замечательный автор раздает красиво иллюстрированную книгу своих стихов.
I am incredibly ignorant, and only learned about this artist today. Excuse me while I go wander around thunderstruck.


May. 18th, 2016 10:29 am
Цикл Антрекота Экспедиция

Если вы это еще не читаете, то вы сами себе злобные буратины.


May. 8th, 2016 10:08 pm
Just saw this, and remain somewhat disturbed. It's not as obvious over a screen, but the flowers are more urgent than they have any call to be, the vase shinier than it seems at first, and together the vase and the flowers interrupt a perfectly calm room and demand something more than attention.
Bonnard - homage to Maillol

Archbishop Ambrosius of Moscow is high on my personal list of good people, but he is not a hero in his story - just a sane man doing the work "for which he drew the wage". The hero is the guy who walked out of the broken monastery gates into a swirling mob bent on murder to give Ambrosius the eucharist. I cannot imagine what he was thinking, and how he nerved himself to do this.
Вот паутинка
В небе-
Ухватись и лети.

И далее много прекрасного


Feb. 22nd, 2016 09:10 am
Having fun comparing directions for oolong brewing on Chinese-sourced vs. Indian-sourced tea-selling sites.

Chinese: Take it out! Take it out! Quickly! Ouffff... now do it again 6-8 times.
Indian: Boil da fuck out of it. Take your time and make sure these leaves won't stab you in the back.
For NY I got a thick tome of Victorian detective stories, including one that flabbergasted me - it contains not one, but two Jews, whose Jewishness is not indicated in any way other than by their names, their shared youth in Warsaw, and their profession (jewelers). No "levantine looks". No "slightly too flashy vests". No "liquid eyes" or "thick lips", no lisp. And both of them interact with everyone they meet just as though their names were Smith and Archer. In fact, one of them appears to have known the detective for quite a while, with no explanation given of the fact.

And who wrote this miracle of political correctness and tolerance, unequaled in British Lit? None other than R Austin Freeman, who, in other stories, portrays men of "strongly Semitic aspect" with "beady eyes". Strike me with a four-by-four and color me astonished.


Jan. 10th, 2016 05:25 pm
[personal profile] morreth очень мне не нравится. Я ей, впрочем, кажется тоже - она меня забанила. Но когда она права она таки права:


Dec. 8th, 2015 10:01 am
Pretty sure I wrote about this one before, but who cares - the lj is my memory :) One of the most striking things I learned in business school was learned by accident. We were in Beijing, I noticed a memorial to the Chongzhen Emperor that said he gave his life for his people. The discussion of that led to a question of civil wars, and attitude towards the losers, and I asked these two guys named Victor what the attitude of the winners towards the losers was in Spain. Both of them looked at me as though I was insane, and said that it is impossible to win a civil war.
Все говорят "нафига", а ты возьми, да и покрась слона:

Awesome elephant make-up photos
I want to but I

Cannot change your diaper.

She complains; I am

Shipwrecked, despite her.

You brandish about

With curious eyes,

The priest demurs when

We ask to baptize.

Father does not come

From East Tennessee;

Outside the hospital,

Fast cars seem so free.

White coats and pamphlets,

They leave us to choose:

Walls are not painted

In sage or chartreuse.

But how you fit in my arms

And sleep when I hum!

You are halcyon seas;

We are the drums
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