Sea Fever

Monday eve, heading off to swim again. I Googled for a poem about water but didn’t like any. Here’s one by John Masefield that I remembered. It fits the bill:-

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

– John Masefield

It flows beautifully.

2001: A Space Apology

… to a generation of acheivers that went before us;

Tsiolkovsky, Goddard, Gagarin, Tereshkova, Armstrong.

Sputnik, Vostok, Gemini, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz.

We, the current crop of Earth-bound no-gooders, are ashamed of the lack of progress since. As I watch this superb film, it is the year 2011, 10 years later than Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke predicted that humankind would be breaking free from its terrestrial shackles.

And yet we still do not have:

    > Pan-Am flights to the moon.
    > $1.70 videocalls to Earth.
    > Manned Jupiter missions.
    > BBC 12.

Although a healthy 60’s-era American-Soviet mistrust still remains.

(and I’m happy about the ESA / NASA satellites taking solar pictures from opposite angles. Nasa SOHO page )


This is Pearl Jam’s (Eddie Vedder’s) view of fame:-

The waiting drove me mad, you’re finally here and I’m a mess
I take your entrance back, can’t let you roam inside my head

I don’t want to take what you can give,
I would rather starve than eat your bread,
I would rather run but I can’t walk,
Guess I’ll lie alone just like before.

I’ll take the varmint’s path, oh, and I must refuse your test
Push me and I will resist, this behavior’s not unique

I don’t want to hear from those who know,
They can buy, but can’t put on my clothes,
I don’t want to limp for them to walk,
Never would have known of me before.

I don’t want to be held in your debt,
I’ll pay it off in blood, let I be wed,
I’m already cut up and half dead,
I’ll end up alone like I began.

Everything has chains, absolutely nothing’s changed
Take my hand, not my picture, spilled my tincture

I don’t want to take what you can give,
I would rather starve than eat your bread,
All the things that others want for me,
Can’t buy what I want because it’s free…
Can’t buy what I want because it’s free…
Can’t be what you want because I’m…

Why ain’t it supposed to be just fun, to live and die, let it be done
I figure I’ll be damned, all alone like I began

It’s your move now…
I thought you were a friend, but I guess I, I guess I hate you..

-Written after a $12 corduroy jacket of Eddie’s was sold for $650

‘Rage’ by Sergio Bizzio.

One of the more unusual plots for a book I’ve ever read, it reads more like a screenplay and indeed Guillermo del Toro is planning to make a film out of it. Really beautiful, mesmerising, oddly captivating; it’s a tale of self-imprisonment and exile, the pain of so-near-yet-so-far.

Argentinian builder Jose Maria murders his foreman and resorts to hiding in the four-storey mansion of a wealthy Senor where his beloved works as a maid. But she is unaware of his presence. As their lives continue things get more and more complicated betwen them, with Jose Maria gradually turning into a phantasm, flitting around unobserved and eavesdropping on secrets.

The title seems slightly out of place, it’s called Rabia in the original Spanish version (2004), and described by Le Temps as a “Vitriolic portrait of Buenos Aires society…” and yet I see a rather metaphorical detachment to much of the violence portrayed by the author. I certainly see not much by way of “… a portrait etched in acid of a Buenos Aires society menaced by economic and political crisis…” (ibid). Perhaps I’m missing some subtext here.

I was instead rather charmed by the prose descriptive style, which vividly brings to life all the characters and scenes as seen from the viewer/reader’s eyes, and the dialogues (both real and internal) are very naturalistic.

An excerpt follows:

One evening he heard “new” voices inside the house. Leaning over the second-floor banister, he could catch intermittent glimpses of a man in a dark suit and a woman who, from his vantage point, seemed to consist in little else but a bright yellow wig balanced on the points of two stiletto shoes which came and went almost hysterically beneath full white skirts, and which made her appear like an energetic fried egg.