One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
by Wallace Stevens
From Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens by Wallace Stevens. Copyright © 1954 by Wallace Stevens.
One of my favortie Stevens poems of which NPR had a commentary yesterday on All Things Considered. Apologies for those who heard it already.
Also from Bookslut's blog, the passages from the nominees for the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award. These types of awards always seem to include a few shots at sacred cows but these are truly some tortuous prose examples. This years list includes John Updike, Paul Theroux, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salman Rushdie and others. I have read the Theroux (a favorite author) and this novel (Blinding Light) did not really do much for me for several reasons, one of which was that there were too many more passages that they could have chosen their selection from. The choice of Garica Marquez (Memories of My Melancholy Whores) is sad because I think the Maestro should have been left alone. The novel was dissapointing but not horrible and at times poignant. The story is an abridged Lolita narrated by a journalist on his 90th birthday looking back on a life of writing and deciding that his world shoud end with fire instead of ice. Book is too short to give away any more of the plot.
Anyway my vote goes to Ben Elton's scene from The First Casaulty.
"Ooh-la-la!" she breathed as he smelt the clean aroma of her short bobbed hair and the rain-sodden grass around it. "Oooh-la-jolly well-la!"
And so they made love together in the pouring rain, with Nurse Murray emitting a stream of girlish exclamations which seemed to indicate that she was enjoying herself. "Gosh", "Golly" and, as things moved towards a conclusion, even "Tally ho!"