March 04, 2010

There is a willow grows aslant a brook

Ophelia by John Everett Millais (1852), by way of wikipedia.

Goat Rope's long jag on Hamlet continues, although you can skip the Shakespeare if that isn't your thing and scroll on down to the links and comments section.

I have referred to the character of Polonius as a twit several times. I must now add that twitness of one kind or another seems to run in the male line of that family. After Polonius is killed by Hamlet, his son Laertes returns from France eager for revenge. Once there, he finds that his sister Ophelia has gone mad.

One would have hoped that he would have taken a little time to take care of her and covered some basic bases--like maybe keeping her from drowning herself, for example. But he couldn't be bothered over this small detail.

Here's how Gertrude, the queen of Denmark and mother of Hamlet describes her end:

There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

All the men in her life were useless at best, and deadly cruel at worst.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE? That is the question for health care reform and it may be answered fairly soon.

SHARE THE WORK. One of the links in yesterday's post was about the policy of work sharing, which could be a very effective way of helping people get through the Great Recession. Economist Dean Baker has written an op-ed on the subject that is worth a look. Here it is

A RISING TIDE, it is said, lifts all boats. But to benefit from that, first you need a boat. Here's an item from the Washington Post about how the recession and the Recovery Act are affecting minority communities.

YOU'VE HEARD OF THE TEA PARTY. Here's the Coffee Party. I've always preferred that beverage.




martha said...

Or as a homeless friend of mine put it, a rising tide is a real problem if someone tied yours with a short anchor - you get swamped.

wu ming said...

that word 'twitness' is wonderful