Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I planted corn yesterday, and we ate cold sorrel soup for dinner. The weather was just like summer, except for the scent of lilacs and the swarms of blackflies and the absurdly green grass.

Today, on this last day of May 2011, I am going to begin some prep work for the Frost Place teaching conference. And, just possibly, I might start writing a poem in the voice of callow young George Washington. I wonder what I will say. If nothing else, this western Pennsylvania project may give me a better understanding of multiple-personality disorders. Every time I sit down at my desk, I am someone new. I also need to investigate the Whiskey Rebellion more thoroughly. I hear that Fayette County was a hotbed of insurrectionist whiskey drinkers, which sounds about right to me.

In case you were wondering, this is what Samuel Pepys was up to in May 1664:

[May] 3rd. Drank my morning draft in good chocolate, and slabbering my band sent home for another, and so to Mr. Coventry's chamber where I endeavoured to shew the folly and punish it as much as I could of Mr. Povy; for of all the men in the world, I never knew any man of his degree so great a coxcomb, . . . and, I doubt, not over honest, by some things which I see; and yet, for all his folly, he hath the good lucke, now and then, to speak his follies in as good words, and with as good a show, as if it were reason, and to the purpose, which is really one of the wonders of my life.

First, "slabbering" and then the Sarah-Palinish Mr. Povy: how I love this! And all I did was to open a volume at random. Clearly, research is overrated.

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