afternoons like today’s seem to cut against ambitions—they make life feel simple and about hours spent lying upon grass and the violet-colored flowers that have carpeted the shade behind my house. suddenly, books reveal their physicality, that they turn dirty and wet and require careful, careful attention (as if each page is a dandelion seed). almost finished with on being blue.
From p. 89 of The First Year of Greek by James Turney Allen (1917). Does not include metadata indicating library of origination or date of digitization (but does include Stanford library artifacts).
time for ancient greek.
I realized on Tuesday that I had broken my coffee addiction entirely. I had somehow associated drinking the burnt type they make in Yale dining halls with feeling sick, and had weaned myself off by drinking half cups and then sleeping through breakfast—and sleep is really what I wanted, in the end. Summertime means days when I will walk five miles, though, and walking is not something that the school year trains me to do. And suddenly, my glasses have become necessary for resolving the street into an image and pages have turned into pavement—although it’s not that I have quit reading or anything drastic—and I crave caffeine. I crave it. I miss it. Yet mostly, mostly I just want to fall asleep and sleep.
The New Yorker has matched quotations from The Great Gatsby with vintage New Yorker advertisements. This one, in particular, depicts the type of progress American society should have made. Creating demand, one picture at a time.
Earlier this semester, Eli and I translated ‘L’Après-Midi d’un Faun’, and we would make PV jokes, since that—to an extent—was how we translated. We’d switch stanzas, and edit each other’s, and I’d email him a word for word for him to render more poetic, since I was trying to finish the poem before our deadline, and was trying to remain true to the French as much as possible. And it felt good to do, if only for the type of piece you do in a week.
As the nights of this semester have dwindled, I have had an increasing feeling of sucking off raspberries from my fingertips one by one, until my fingers are covered in the residue of sweetness and are ready to be cleansed by water. There are a few other metaphors for the feeling: watching the sands of an hourglass when the grains seem to speed up; the same rush of rainwater into sewers once you clear away autumn leaves; and that feeling—of suddenly, without quite realizing how, that you’re watching something end.
On Tuesday, packing my winter clothes into a duffel for Paris, I realized that at some point I had crossed a halfway moment in my time at Yale. Already, too, at least a month or two ago. My temporal center of gravity shifted, and cast a surreality on the days that followed. At a party, my friend Max pointed to studies, the pull of finals, the incessant drive to do and do and do—because somehow, that will make you successful. There have been days this week when I have wished I could ask a friend to sit for a portrait, or that I could add forty hours to my day to read and to write and write and write.
Yet I am all but finished with this semester, and so full of fears and joy for the summer and the fall that I trust that I will have all of that time—and more, and I will make something real of it. I may be more than halfway through with my undergraduate time at Yale, but I have not even begun this interim adventure. And I am so excited. And I am so excited. And I am so excited.
"Here is a confession of how poems were written which would do as a definition of poetry just as well as “emotion recollected in tranquillity”‑and which the young poet might equally well take to heart as a practical rule. Drink a pint of beer, relax, go walking, think on nothing in particular, look at things, surrender yourself to yourself, search for the truth in your own soul, listen to the sound of your own inside voice, discover and express the vraie verité.
It is probably true that all this is excellent advice for poets."
W. K. Wimsatt, Jr. & Monroe C. Beardsley, “The Intentional Fallacy”