Thursday, February 27, 2014

Silent, upon a peak in Pennsylvania

    "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" by John Keats

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
   And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
   Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
   That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;
   Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
   When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
   He star'd at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
   Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

I just got home after spending the afternoon in the tiny woebegone office of my car mechanic. When I got home, apropos of nothing and totally out of the blue, I said to my wife "You know what's a strange word? 'décor.' Nobody ever says it; its only use is in 'home décor.'" Then I went into the study, sat down for the first time in my new reading chair that I'd just brought into the room and positioned to my liking, and began reading the novel The Art of Deception by Ridley Pearson. I've just come upon this on page 7: 'At nearly four thousand square feet, the loft gave him plenty of space to play with. It remained a quirky space with a bachelor's sense of independence, a cop's sense of budget, and a man's sense of décor.'

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