March 15, 2011

A creepy place

We don't have too many monsters in this pond, aside from a snapping turtle or two.

The theme at Goat Rope lately has been Beowulf, along with links and more or less snarky comments about current events. I chose Beowulf for two reasons. One, it really is a great poem. Two, the WV legislature has been in session and I've been kind of busy watching the chaos, though with precious little so show for it.

Having an ongoing theme at such times is a chance to get down ideas about a classic--and it saves a lot of what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-blog-about time. Now that the session is over (thank God) I plan on winding it down, but not before following the tale to its conclusion.

Some of the most memorable lines occur when Danish king Hrothgar describes the haunted mere or lake where Grendel and his mother dwell. It is there that the hero must go if he is to kill Grendel's mother, who is if anything more fierce than her man-eating son. It is a great description of a REALLY CREEPY PLACE. I'm going to break up the lines to make it easier to read. Enjoy:

"They in a dark land,
Cliffs of wolves, dwell, windy nesses,
Dangerous marshes, where mountain-stream
Under clouds of the nesses flows down below,
Lake under the earth. It is not far hence
In measure by miles that the mere stands,
Over which hang the rustling groves,
Wood firm in its roots; they cover the water.

There one every night a strange wonder may see,
Fire on the flood: so wise a one lives not
Of the children of men that knows its bottom:
Although the heath-stepper pressed by the dogs,
The stag, strong in horns, may seek the grove,
Pursued from afar, his life will he give,
His life on the shore, ere in it he will
Hide there his head.

That 's no unhaunted place;
Thence the boiling of waters rises up high
Wan to the clouds, when the wind rouses,
The hateful storms, while dark grows the air,
The heavens weep. Now is ready counsel
Again in thee alone. The abode yet thou knowest not,
The terrible place, where thou mayest find
The much-sinning being: seek if thou dare.

I for the contest thee will repay
With old-time treasures, as I before did,
With twisted gold, if thou comest away."

As someone who lives around deer and dogs, you know it's a bad place when a deer would rather be torn apart by canines than jump in the water to escape.

JAPAN. This looks really bad. I hope another disaster can be averted.

A TRAGIC ANNIVERSARY. The Triangle Factory Fire, which killed 146 garment workers, mostly young immigrant women, occurred on March 25, 1911. Since we seem to be headed back in the direction of pre-New Deal plutocracy, it might be good to reflect on the bad old days.

THE RIGHT'S LATEST BOOGEY-WOMAN is longtime consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren.

A CASE IN POINT for what Naomi Klein called The Shock Doctrine is Wisconsin.

SOCIALIZING. Here's a look at what made early hominids human.



No comments: