Poem of the day

“O may I join the choir invisible”
by George Eliot (1819-1880)

O may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence: live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
For miserable aims that end with self,
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge man’s search
To vaster issues.

                                     So to live is heaven:
To make undying music in the world,
Breathing as beauteous order that controls
With growing sway the growing life of man.
So we inherit that sweet purity
For which we struggled, failed, and agonized
With widening retrospect that bred despair.
Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued,
A vicious parent shaming still its child
Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolved;
Its discords, quenched by meeting harmonies,
Die in the large and charitable air.
And all our rarer, better, truer self,
That sobbed religiously in yearning song,
That watched to ease the burden of the world,
Laboriously tracing what must be,
And what may yet be better—saw within
A worthier image for the sanctuary,
And shaped it forth before the multitude
Divinely human, raising worship so
To higher reverence more mixed with love—
That better self shall live till human Time
Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky
Be gathered like a scroll within the tomb
Unread forever.

                              This is life to come,
Which martyred men have made more glorious
For us who strive to follow. May I reach
That purest heaven, be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty—
Be the sweet presence of a good diffused,
And in diffusion ever more intense.
So shall I join the choir invisible
Whose music is the gladness of the world.

Game of the week

Poem of the day

Nocturne
by Sigbjørn Obstfelder (1866-1900)

Møllens vinger stanser sin susen,
      Aaen speiler nattens øie,
Blomsternes læber ydmygt beder,
      Trærnes kroner hvisker, hvisker.

Presterne tænder de blege kjerter,
      Nonnerne nynner de fromme bønner,
Børnene folder de spinkle hænder,
      Svanerne skjuler sit næb under vingen.

Snart skal de sove, alle de trætte,
      Hvile hodet mygt paa puden,
Glemme de graa, sørgmodige tanker,
      Slumre, sove, drømme, sove.

Joe Biden’s impotence on inflation

“Inflation has a unique power to kneecap a presidency. Incumbent presidents and their parties do not do well at all when inflation (and attempts to cure it) are on voters’ minds come election time. The gas pump, the supermarket check-out counter, the heating bill, the sticker on the windshield, provide — or seem to provide — powerful indictments against the party in charge.

“If that’s not enough to unsettle the White House and its allies, consider this: Presidents have almost no power to ease the pain of inflation, and the voting public cuts presidents no slack at all because of that impotence. Look into the toolbox of our country’s chief executive and you’ll find it empty of effective tools, filled instead with devices now obsolete or laughable or meaningless or politically destructive.”

Whoever coined the motto “defund the police” should be shot

but only after being drawn and quartered, and dipped in boiling oil. This article details some of the alternatives to the traditional public safety approaches that are being tried.

Though the politics of police reform have shifted since a year ago, the movement to find new ways to ensure public safety is winning a number of fights in cities across the country.

Poem of the day

Mynstrelles Songe
by Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770)

O! synge untoe mie roundelaie,
O! droppe the brynie teare wythe mee,
Daunce ne moe atte hallie daie,
Lycke a reynynge ryver bee;
         Mie love ys dedde,
         Gon to hys death-bedde,
         Al under the wyllowe tree.

Black hys cryne as the wyntere nyghte,
Whyte hys rode as the sommer snowe,
Rodde hys face as the mornynge lyghte,
Cale he lyes ynne the grave belowe;
         Mie love ys dedde,
         Gon to hys death-bedde,
         Al under the wyllowe tree.

Swote hys tyngue as the throstles note,
Quycke ynn daunce as thoughte canne bee,
Defte hys taboure, codgelle stote,
O! hee lyes bie the wyllowe tree:
         Mie love ys dedde,
         Gon to hys death-bedde,
         Al under the wyllowe tree.

Harke! the ravenne flappes hys wynge,
In the briered delle belowe;
Harke! the dethe-owle loude dothe synge,
To the nyghte-mares as heie goe;
         Mie love ys dedde,
         Gon to hys death-bedde,
         Al under the wyllowe tree.

See! the whyte moone sheenes onne hie;
Whyterre ys mie true loves shroude;
Whyterre yanne the mornynge skie,
Whyterre yanne the evenynge cloude;
         Mie love ys dedde,
         Gon to hys death-bedde,
         Al under the wyllowe tree.

Heere, uponne mie true loves grave,
Schalle the baren fleurs be layde,
Nee one hallie Seyncte to save
Al the celness of a mayde.
         Mie love ys dedde,
         Gon to hys death-bedde,
         Al under the wyllowe tree.

Wythe mie hondes I’lle dente the brieres
Rounde his hallie corse to gre,
Ouphante fairie, lyghte youre fyres,
Heere mie boddie stylle schall bee.
         Mie love ys dedde,
         Gon to hys death-bedde,
         Al under the wyllowe tree.

Comme, wythe acorne-coppe and thorne,
Drayne mie hartys blodde awaie;
Lyfe and all yttes goode I scorne,
Daunce bie nete, or feaste by daie.
         Mie love ys dedde,
         Gon to hys death-bedde,
         Al under the wyllowe tree.

What’s the point of an SUV without leather seats?

NYT: “A New York Times investigation into Brazil’s rapidly expanding slaughterhouse industry — a business that sells not only beef to the world, but tons of leather annually to major companies in the United States and elsewhere — has identified loopholes in its monitoring systems that allow hides from cattle kept on illegally deforested Amazon land to flow undetected through Brazil’s tanneries and on to buyers worldwide. …

“A luxury vehicle can require a dozen or more hides, and suppliers in the United States increasingly buy their leather from Brazil. While the Amazon region is one of the world’s major providers of beef, increasingly to Asian nations, the global appetite for affordable leather also means that the hides of these millions of cattle supply a lucrative international leather market valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually.”