Mischievous Muse

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Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Crickets in Moonlight. A Haiku.

Every moonlit branch
Trembling with cricket song —
I wish you were here, right now.

(AJ, 9/29/07)

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Moving On

That certainly was something. I'll comment briefly and then resume blogging as usual. I have never been able to define myself (or anyone else) conclusively, least of all by my (or another's) blog. The whole concept is preposterous. Most of us are too complex as human beings to be defined by such simple parameters.

Yes, I am Luminarium, a person who works night and day on websites that cover English literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I'm passionate about tomes that many haven't even heard of. But that is only one facet of who I am.

Yes, I am a silly girl who enjoys fluffy quizzes and memes, including "Which Harry Potter Character Are You" and "Who's your Celebrity Love Match" (Brad Pitt, apparently). But that's only part of who I am.

Yes, I'm a fan of pop culture, who enjoys science fiction, fantasy, television, movies, celebrity gossip, and music that makes my best friend cringe. But that's not all I am.

Yes, I'm an actor who is classically trained to perform Shakespeare, but I also enjoy making the odd horror film and playing a vampire queen. And that's not even half of what I am.

Yes, I'm a poet when the Muse strikes. I love writing sonnets and haiku, but sometimes it comes out as a limerick. Sometimes what I write is pretty good, sometimes what I write is so bad no human being should be subjected to it. And still I'm more.

Yes, I'm a gardener who loves to grow roses, but if you came to my house right now you'd see my front yard covered in unsightly weeds. Because I'm also lazy at times.

Yes, I'm a translator, who translates anything from classic poetry to D-movies, and sometimes even Italian opera, when the feeling hits.

Yes, I've been a web designer, a costumer, an oriental rug specialist, a student, a bum, hamburger maker, a world traveller, a homebody, a dog-mommy, a ballet dancer, a real estate agent, a cashier, a producer, a director, a teacher, etc. etc. etc.

None of these things define me. No one person defines me. If anyone does, I define me. I choose who and what I am, and what I'm worth. We're all more than the sum of our parts.

Needless to say, I found the late commenter's ideas lacking, and the attack on my person and character malicious and without merit. Originally, I didn't wish to engage him, because to do so would have conferred upon him and his thoughts more time and effort than he warranted.

But, I was touched by how pissed off everyone else got, so I thought I'd say my piece too. I'm comfortable with who I am and I don't care if someone out there doesn't like it. As Riykere put it, those who don't like this blog don't have to read it. Goodness knows, there are millions of other blogs out there. Something for everyone.

To quote Jimmy Stewart's character from Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning play (and movie) "Harvey":

"My mother always said, 'In this world, Elwood' —
she always called me Elwood — 'you have to be either
oh-so-smart, or oh-so-pleasant.'  Well, for years I was smart.
I recommend pleasant.  And you may quote me."

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Friday, September 14, 2007

My Liberal Identity

via HyperLiterature

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.



Thursday, September 06, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti Dies at Age 71. Farewell.

Luciano Pavarotti passed away this morning at 5 am Modena time at age 71. He had been suffering with pancreatic cancer for a long time and had been ailing for the past months. Pavarotti had an illustrious opera career, the majority of his colleagues recognizing him as a technical genius. This news filled me with sadness. Here is an aria by Pavarotti from Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore" (Elixir of Love), with lyrics in Italian and in translation.

Plot: Nemorino has fallen in love with Adina, a girl from a wealthy family, who will have not pay any heed to a poor young man. He spends all of his money on a love potion which is, in reality, nothing but cheap wine. Nemorino believes that the elixir will work, and when he sees her tears, he knows at last that she loves him in return.

Una furtiva lágrima

Una furtiva lágrima
Negl'occhi suoi spuntò:
Quelle festose giovani
Invidiar sembrò.
Che piu cercando io vo?
Che piu cercando io vo?
M'ama, si m'ama, lo vedo, lo vedo.
Un solo istante i palpiti
Del suo bel cor sentir!
I miei sospir, confondere
Per poco a' suoi sospir!
I palpiti, i palpiti sentir,
Confondere i miei co' suoi sospir
Cielo, si può morir!
Di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
Ah! Cielo, si può, si può morir,
Di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
Si può morir, si può morir d'amor.
 A Secret Tear

One secret tear
From her eyes has sprung:
It seemed to envy
Those happy youths.
I need to seek no further,
I need to seek no further!
She loves me, yes, she loves me, I see it, I see it!
For a single moment, to feel
The beating of her sweet heart!
My sighs mingling
For a while with her sighs!
To feel the heartbeats,
To mingle my sighs with hers,
Heaven, that I could die!
I ask for nothing more, nothing more.
Oh! Heaven, if I could, if I could die,
I'd ask for nothing more, nothing more.
If I could die, if I could die of love.

(translation by A. Jokinen)

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