Abandonment and Random Thoughts

I'm not sure what poem I should write about today, hence my various confused faces, so I think I'm going to accept defeat and abandon the 7th part of Poetry Week. I'm lost without my Sixteenth Century Poetry Anthology. I might end up putting a poem in this post, though, who knows.

Random Thoughts

1. I finally named my camera, and his name is Astrophil. This may seem strange, but it comes from a sonnet sequence by Sir Philip Sidney titled Astrophil and Stella. The sonnet sequence is loosely autobiographical since Sidney was in love with a married woman named Penelope. He renames her Stella in the sonnet sequence and calls himself Astrophil - one, because his name is Philip, and two, because Stella means "star" and Astrophil translates to "star lover." Thus, my camera is henceforth to be known as Astrophil, or Phil for short. It just popped into my head and while I tried to think of other possible names, possibly Italian, my little Astrophil looked up at me and seemed to be saying, "but I already have a name," so I let him keep it.

2. Journals are curious things. They have their own personalities, just like people. Walking through a bookstore I see with various types of journals the relationships I could have with them. One with pressed flowers inside a gauzy cover seems to say to me, "I didn't want to know that Rachel, please refrain from such candid thoughts." Another one with ornate, oriental designs thinks, this is only your first trip to Europe? You're not very well-traveled, are you? Then I spy my thin moleskin journals with graph paper inside. I want to tell them things, even thoughts I'm not particularly proud of. I know they won't judge; they'll listen. I walk out with them and I hear them gossiping in their three-pack, "I don't think she'll judge us for our perforated pages in the back, our lack of a ribbon to mark her place..."

3. Today's theme seems to be all about personification.

4. I actually do have a poem I've been meaning to share though I'm not sure I'll have much to say about it other than the fact that I think it's beautiful. Here it is, Thomas Wyatt's They Flee From Me That Sometime Did Me Seek.

They Flee From Me That Sometime Did Me Seek

They flee from me that sometime did me seek,
With naked foot stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek
That are now wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themselves in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be fortune, it hath been otherwise
Twenty times better; but once in special,
In thin array after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small,
Therewithal sweetly did me kiss,
And softly said, "Dear heart, how like you this?"

It was no dream, I lay broad waking.
But all is turned thorough my gentleness,
Into a strange fashion of forsaking;
And I have leave to go of her goodness,
And she also to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindly am served,
I would fain know what she hath deserved.

Yes, Wyatt was jilted. What I really like about this poem is the second stanza. He describes the event with such tenderness, and seems unafraid to recall the memory with said tenderness. In the third stanza Wyatt remembers himself, and ends the poem with the bitterness of a spurned lover, but in the second stanza he lets himself gets carried away in the sweetness of his memory, or was it a dream? No, a memory.
I wish we could deal with life's disappointments the way Wyatt does in the second stanza. I wish we were unafraid to admit, sometimes, that things we can no longer have were beautiful when we did possess them. I know it's easier to convince ourselves that we no longer want the things that have left us, in our opinion, prematurely, but wouldn't it be nicer to have a life full of sweet memories rather than mediocre ones purely for the purpose of saving face?
I can, with this attitude, look back with fondness on a night spent under the stars, midwestern mountains framing the horizon, the grass giving green highlights to my hair. I can recall an anniversary dinner after which my face hurt from smiling and my hand was perpetually warm from being inside someone else's. I can choose from memories involving a moonlit convertible ride, a hill of prodigious size with a magnificent view, a dinner spread on the floor meticulously prepared, and walks to the gardens at UVa which were wonderfully ambiguous in their meaning. Why would I look upon any of these things with distaste? I look forward to more memories like these, and Wyatt's, that age us in their little life-lessons.

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