Monday, October 11, 2021

I hope that you are having a holiday today, but Tom and I are not: we're both preparing to embark on our regularly scheduled grind, but one fueled by a good weekend, so that's something. Tom spent all of yesterday in his study, working on his current photo project. I spent much of the morning across the hall in my room, reading contest manuscripts and the Iliad. I did do some yard cleanup in the afternoon, and then made a big chicken dinner while listening to a long and stressful Red Sox game. Finally, at bedtime, I turned off the radio . . . and my team immediately hit a walk-off home run in extra innings. I guess my support was just dragging them down.

Today, exercise class first; then buckling down to work on a difficult editing project. I'm presuming that we're also going to be dealing with major construction this week, as last Friday our household water was hooked up to the temporary irrigation pipes that are tripping up everyone who tries to thread their way down our sidewalks, and a giant concrete sewer pipe is now hulking in front of my house.

But in the afternoon I'll talk to Teresa about the Iliad, so that will take the edge off the noise and the obligations. We've stopped our reading at very tense moment: Patroclus has just been killed in battle, but his best friend Achilles doesn't know that yet. This poem is tedious and terrifying and very, very painful . . . words as the enactment of war. It's a remarkable work of art, and reading it is so hard.

2 comments:

David X. Novak said...

How blessed were poets who wrote at the dawn of literature, their m├ętier seems so primal. Our language grows diffuse, expansive and extraneous, which may be why, in English, I find myself drawn to monosyllabic words of late.

Dawn Potter said...

Monosyllabic words? That is so interesting. Certainly English is a mongrel language, though I find the characteristic charming. But I take your point: I often feel a similar attraction when reading Beowulf.