Thursday, May 11, 2006

Early Friday Poety Blogging

I'm blogging my Friday poetry early this week.

We're having seasonal weather up here in the Northwoods; it's in the 40s today, and someone said it may even snow. Some people would call this unseasonal weather, but the truth is that since I've lived here, we've always had nasty cold spells during the end of the final week of classes.

This is also when we have our department picnic to honor our students and colleagues, in the big park off the ice cold lake.

Shivering as I walked with a couple colleagues over to the pretty darned good drug coffee place this morning, I pondered about the nasty cold, and wondered how long I'd tough it out. And then I came up with a shockingly stupid brilliant plan, and to my colleagues, hey, what if we moved the picnic to the BardiacShack (tm)?

My colleagues thought that was a great idea.

Of course, none of us is in charge of the picnic. So I emailed the person who is in charge, and offered to host the picnic if we want to change the venue.

She hemmed and hawed for a few minutes. Then went into the coffee room to poll the available thinking heads, all of whom thought a change of venue was in order. So she began making arrangements and sent out some mass emailings.

One of the administrative assistants hugged me in the hallway to thank me. (NB. I'm not exactly the most cuddly of persons, nor is she; but the moment was right.) Two other people stopped me to say how happy they were. One person said she had been planning to skip, but would come now. And a couple other people emailed me to tell me it was a great change.

And it was all to preserve my own delicate constitution.

In order, then, to be prepared, I've cleaned out my garage some (for storage and barbeque space), and now I have to clean up the BardiacShack (tm).

But in honor of tomorrow's picnic, I'm sharing another winner by Ben Jonson (see last week's great poem, too), this one more apropos to the hosting theme.

Inviting a Friend to Supper

TONIGHT, grave sir, both my poor house and I
. Do equally desire your company;
Not that we think us worthy such a guest,
. But that your worth will dignify our feast
With those that come, whose grace may make that seem
. Something, which else could hope for no esteem.
It is the fair acceptance, sir, creates
. The entertainment perfect; not the cates.
Yet shall you have, to rectify your palate,
. An olive, capers, or some better salad
Ushering the mutton; with a short-legged hen,
. If we can get her, full of eggs, and then
Lemons and wine for sauce; to these, a coney
. Is not to be despaired of, for our money;
And though fowl, now, be scarce, yet there are clerks,
. The sky not falling, think we may have larks.
I'll tell you of more, and lie, so you will come:
. Of partridge, pheasant, woodcock, of which some
May yet be there; and godwit, if we can,
. Knat, rail, and ruff, too. Howsoe'er, my man
Shall read a piece of Virgil, Tacitus,
. Livy, or of some better book to us,
Of which we'll speak our minds, amidst our meat;
. And I'll profess no verses to repeat;
To this, if ought appear which I know not of,
. That will the pastry, not my paper, show of.
Digestive cheese, and fruit there sure will be;
. But that which most doth take my Muse, and me
Is a pure cup of rich Canary wine,
. Which is the Mermaid's now, but shall be mine;
Of which had Horace or Anacreon tasted,
. Their lives, as do their lines, till now had lasted.
Tobacco, nectar, or the Thespian spring
. Are all but Luther's beer to this I sing.
Of this we shall sup free, but moderately,
. And we will have no Pooly, or Parrot by;
Nor shall our cups make any guilty men,
. But at our parting we shall be as when
We innocently met. No simple word
. That shall be uttered at our mirthful board
Shall make us sad next morning, or affright
. The liberty that we'll enjoy tonight.

(Being an html idiot, I don't remember how to add spaces, but there should be an indent to the second line of each couplet. I tried to imitate that with the weird space period space thing.)

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