Friday, December 02, 2005

AWK in Transit: I Want Kant, Sir...

Rang Andrew on his cell yesterday afternoon on my way to the university; caught he and his AWK bandmates en route from Seattle-Tacoma International to the University of Washington. They're gigging tonight at the Husky Union Building, with Make Make Pretty Make Graves Girls Girls in support... Didn't want to cramp their tour bus vibe with unrelated biz, so I buggered off until later.

Man, I'd love to be at that show! Itching to get out of town... I could catch the Asian Graduate Bible Study Group from 7 to 9, then slink backstage and beg to sing backup on some of the new songs...

Like this one, "What Dire Offence":


What dire Offence from am'rous Causes springs,
What mighty Contests rise from trivial Things, I sing-
This verse to CARYL, Muse! is due;
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view:
Slight is the Subject, but not so the Praise,
If She inspire, and He approve, my Lays!


Say what strange Motive, Goddess! cou'd compel
A well-bred Lord t'assault a gentle Belle?
Oh say what stranger Cause, yet unexplor'd,
Cou'd make a gentle Belle reject a Lord?


In tasks so bold, can little Men engage,
And in soft Bosoms, dwell such mighty Rage?



Sol through white Curtains shot a tim'rous Ray,
And ope'd those Eyes that must eclipse the Day:


Now Lap-dogs give themselves the rouzing Shake,
And sleepless Lovers, just at Twelve, awake!


Thrice rung the Bell, the Slipper knock'd the Ground,
And the press'd Watch return'd a silver sound,
Belinda still her downy Pillow prest,
Her guardian Sylph prolng'd the balmy rest.


'Twas he had summon'd to her silent Bed

The Morning Dream that hover'd o'er... her... Head!



Oh well, maybe next time. (In Gdansk.)

A link to the HUB is here.

Otherwise, another bucolic afternoon.




P.S. Okay, busted. The eagle-hooved amongst you recognized "Offence" as originating from the pen of 18th cent. lit. colossus/breath-deficient death dwarf Alexander Pope... For your continued edification, a biographical extract:

Pope's father, the son of an Anglican vicar, had converted to Catholicism, which caused the family many problems. At that time Catholics suffered from repressive legislation and prejudices - they were not allowed to enter any universities or held public employment. Thus Pope had an uneven education, which was often interrupted. At home, Pope's aunt taught him to read. Latin and Greek he learned from a local priest and later he acquired knowledge of French and Italian poetry. Pope also attended clandestine Catholic schools.

Most of his time Pope spend reading books from his father's library - he "did nothing but write and read," said later his half-sister. While still at school, Pope wrote a play based on speeches from the Iliad. In 1700, when his family moved to Binfield in Windsor Forest, Pope contracted tuberculosis through infected milk. It was probably Pott's disease, a tubercular affection of the spine. He also suffered from asthma and headaches, and his humpback was a constant target for his critics in literary battles - Pope was called a 'hunchbacked toad.' In middle age he was 4ft 6in tall and wore a stiffened canvas bodice to support his spine.

After moving to London, Pope published his first major work, An Essay on Criticism. This discussion was based on neoclassical doctrines and derived standards of taste from the order of nature: "Good nature and good sense must ever join; / To err is human, to forgive divine." Pope associated with anti-Catholic Whig friends, but by 1713 he moved towards the Tories, becoming one of the members of Scriblerus Club. His friends among Tory intellectuals included Jonathan Switft, Gay, Congreve, and Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford. In 1712 Pope published an early version of THE RAPE OF THE LOCK, an elegant satire about the battle between the sexes, and follies of a young woman with her "puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-doux". The work was expanded in 1714. Its first version consisted of two cantos (1712) and the final version five cantos (1714).

(Mr. Pope, in stiffened repose.)


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