Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Evanston: Ulysses as Cyclops (again); a person from Porlock; an Emperor's poem

        My blind right eye is somewhat troubling me, so I have resumed wearing an eye patch, which inexplicably because I have no light perception in that eye, seems to help.  I don’t know that I will wear it constantly; but if you see it in future photos, you now know why.
        One positive result of wearing the patch in public is that people give me more space. 


        Carol and I have been watching the Netflix series, Marco Polo, a reasonably entertaining fabrication, which caused me to look up Coleridge’s poem, “Kubla Khan.”
        Although a fragment, it is longer than I remembered.  And would have been longer still had Coleridge, after an opium influenced sleep, not been interrupted the next morning by a “person from Porlock.”  

        I have been reading A TIME OF GIFTS, a famous, but uneven, book by Patrick Leigh Fermor, who audaciously set out in December 1933 at age eighteen to travel from London to Constantinople mostly on foot.
        In it I just came across a poem allegedly inscribed in chalk in a castle cellar by Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian  I: 

                Live, don’t know how long,
                And die, don’t know when;
                Must go, don’t know where;
                I am astonished I am so cheerful.