beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Hope of Thee (the Zombie Remix)
Author: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Words: 1877
Remix of: Watching Stars by [livejournal.com profile] cosmic_llin 
Characters: Lwaxana, Deanna, and Kestra Troi.
AN: This fic is AU for the season 7 episode "Dark Page," in which Counselor Troi finds out she had an older sister named Kestra who died when Deanna was a baby.
Summary: Don’t worry, Mother. You’ll never be alone. I’ll make sure of that.

Hope of Thee (the Zombie Remix)

Daddy's coming home tomorrow, Kestra said. )


On My First Son
Ben Jonson

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy.
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.

Oh, could I lose all father now!  For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon ’scaped world’s and flesh’s rage,
And if no other misery, yet age!

Rest in soft peace, and asked, say, Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)

from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:

 

  Easter wings.

 

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
  Though foolishly he lost the same,
     Decaying more and more,
      Till he became
        Most poore:
        With thee
      Oh let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day  thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My  tender  age  in  sorrow   did   beginne:
  And still with sicknesses and shame
     Thou  didst  so  punish  sinne,
       That  I  became
         Most thinne.
         With  thee
       Let me combine
    And feel this day thy victorie:
  For,  if  I  imp  my  wing  on  thine
Affliction shall  advance the  flight in  me.

Note: the poem is usually printed on its side, so that it looks more like wings.  If you tilt your head to the left, you can see what it's supposed to look like.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
With the sending out of assignments for [livejournal.com profile] remixredux08, there has been a lot of discussion about remixing and hard assignments and such, and it has occured to me to ponder--if remixing is so difficult (and it is the most difficult kind of ficathon I've ever been involved in, definitely), why do we do it? Why is the Remix ... Redux such a big deal every year, right up there with [livejournal.com profile] yuletide? And I think it's the same reason that poets write sonnets. Because sometimes it's better to do the hard thing because it is hard, because it really makes you focus on your craft, on getting every shred of power you can out of the words and the ideas and the characters you have available to you.

So. An appropriate poem.

On the Sonnet
If by dull rhymes our English must be chained,
And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet
Fettered, in spite of pained loveliness,
Let us find, if we must be constrained,
Sandals more interwoven and complete
To fit the naked foot of Poesy:
Let us inspect the Lyre, and weigh the stress
Of every chord, and see what may be gained
By ear industrious, and attention meet;
Misers of sound and syllable, no less
Than Midas of his coinage, let us be
Jealous of dead leaves in the bay wreath crown;
So, if we may not let the Muse be free,
She will be bound with garlands of her own.
-John Keats, 1819
beatrice_otter: BSG's Six with red Cylon eyes (Six)
I have a [livejournal.com profile] choc_fic due today, and I'm scrambling around for a title for it (I know, but I'm really bad with titles). Anyway, in the scramble I came across my list of poems I've saved from various places. And now, I want to write a story for Sharon (Boomer) Valerii from BSG to this poem:

One Art
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master,
though it may look like (write it!) like disaster.
-Elizabeth Bishop (1976)

It doesn't fit this story, but it fits her so well I have no idea why I didn't list it as a prompt back when they were calling for prompts.

Good Friday

Apr. 6th, 2007 03:33 pm
beatrice_otter: Since no one is perfect, it follows that all great deeds have been accomplished out of imperfection. (Great)
When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself." Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. (Matthew, 27:3-5)

Saint Judas
by James Wright

When I went out to kill myself, I caught
A pack of hoodlums beating up a man.
Running to spare his suffering, I forgot
My name, my number, how my day began,
How soldiers milled around the garden stone
And sang amusing songs; how all that day
Their javelins measured crowds; how I alone
Bargained the proper coins, and slipped away.

Banished from heaven, I found this victim beaten,
Stripped, kneed, and left to cry. Dropping my rope
Aside, I ran, ignored the uniforms:
Then I remembered bread my flesh had eaten,
The kiss that ate my flesh. Flayed without hope,
I held the man for nothing in my arms.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
One of my classes is Early Church and its Creeds; we spent most of the semester focusing on the first 300-400 years of Christian history and the writings of the great early theologians. Now we're going at speed through the Dark Ages in the west (i.e. the time between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the beginning of the Middle Ages), because, let's face it, it was the Dark Ages. Nothing much was happening, theologically. As for the 'practical' history, aside from the reign of Charlemagne it was pretty much one d@*^ thing after another.

Anyway, one of the main figures of the end of the Dark Ages was Bernard of Clairvaux, and we have a short section on him in the reading for tomorrow. In it is a quote he said about Mary and Martha. (For those of you who don't know the story, Mary and Martha were the sisters of Lazarus. At one point when Jesus was visiting them, Martha was doing the housework while Mary was listening to Jesus, and Martha asked Jesus to make her sister help. Instead, Jesus rebuked Martha, saying that Mary had chosen the "good part." Bernard said that "Martha's part, if that is our lot, must be borne with patience." Luke 10:38-42)

It reminded me of a poem by Rudyard Kipling, one of my favorite poets. It's a great poem, about the people who get their hands dirty.

The Sons of Martha )
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (omg)
Well, after much study and hard work, I e-mailed the Greek competency test off to LTSG. I was pretty nervous, since there were a couple of questions I couldn't even guess at, but it was as good as it was going to get. 70% was needed to pass. Got an e-mail from the Prof Friday saying I go 80.6%! Woo-hoo! Yes! Now I can enjoy my family reunion weekend with no reservations. Well, except those stemming from the fact that I get to spend all of Monday travelling. Joy.

Poem of the Day:
The Gods of the Copybook Headings by Rudyard Kipling )
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Holy Sonnet: 14
Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

-John Donne, 1633


Real Life Woes )
beatrice_otter: Sam and Teal'c (Sam and Teal'c)
For [livejournal.com profile] katie_m. Knowing you'd been waiting for a long time, I tried to get it written as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. Many thanks go to [livejournal.com profile] drkcherry for the quick beta on very short notice.

Prompt:
Three things you WANT in your story: Pre-series Teal'c, music, mud.
Three things you DO NOT WANT in your story: Explicit sex, um... you know, that's pretty much it.

This fic has been remixed as None But Ourselves (the Redemption Song Remix) by [livejournal.com profile] cofax7 and as In Battle's Fury, Silence (the Meditations on the Past Remix) by [personal profile] amaresu

Summary: Teal'c goes home after a glorious battle in Apophis' name.

Pale Battalions )

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] tealc_ficathon and [livejournal.com profile] stargatefic
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (sg-1)
I need someone to beta a fic for me. I have no clue whether or not I'm getting the effect I'm trying for. It's a pre-season Teal'c fic, and it needs to get betaed and posted soon, since it's for a ficathon and I'm the back-up of a back-up writer.

Poem of the Day:

The Unknown Citizen


(To JS/07/m/378
This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community:
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

-W. H. Auden (1940)

It's funny, we analyzed this poem in one of my lit classes in college, and there were several radically different interpretations, each well-thought-out with justifications. What do you think about it?

Update on the Greek: I'm past the forms part, thank God, and into the actual translation. It's going much better now.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (omg)
This poem explains quantum mechanics and Schroedinger's Cat better than any teacher in school I ever had. It's also quite humorous.

Dear Cecil by Cecil Adams )
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
The Leaden-Eyed


Let not young souls be smothered out before
They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
It is the world's one crime its babes grow dull,
Its poor are ox-like, limp and leaden-eyed.

Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly;
Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap;
Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve;
Not that they die, but that they die like sheep.

-Vachel Lindsay
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
In honor of Memorial Day Weekend:

Tommy by Rudyard Kipling )

The attitudes towards military personnel have gotten a lot better since Kipling's time, as have the living conditions, pay, schooling, etc available for them. Almost everybody at least pays lip service to respecting them and their sacrifices.

The thing is, though, that Americans who say today that they are against the war in Iraq but not against the soldiers serving there, are actually giving a grave disrespect to the soldiers they claim to be respecting. This isn't Viet Nam. There is no draft. And given the number of years that have passed since 9/11, all the soldiers now serving have either enlisted or re-enlisted since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. That is, they chose, for whatever reason, to serve in time of war, knowing what that might entail. So saying that you're against the war, and want to bring them home for their own good is not respecting them. It is denying them the right to make their own choices, and treating them like children. I'm not saying that wanting to get us out of Iraq is necessarily unpatriotic. But using concern for our soldiers as the excuse is at best hypocritical and patronising.

Quote of the Day:
Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.
-Terry Pratchett, Men At Arms
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Okay, 99.9% of the people who read this aren't going to get it, but I've been trying to remember this limerick for a couple days and I finally did and I'm really glad so I'm going to post it here. I got it from Dr. Marvin Slind, a history professor at Luther, in a class called Rome: Republic and Empire. We were studying the latter days of the Empire, and since the Christian Church was one of the major players at the time, we ended up discussing a lot of early church history as well. Facts you need to know to understand this limerick: one of the early councils codifying Christian doctrine took place at Nicaea, and one of the doctrines they decided was heresy was called "aryan" because it had been thought up by a guy named Arius, iirc. It had to do with the nature of God, and after three years I don't remember all the details. The opposing view, that the Nicene Council approved, was trinitarianism, that God is one God made up of three distinct beings: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Anyway, for some reason a lot of barbarian tribes who converted to Christianity as the Roman Empire was crumbling preferred arianism to trinitarianism.

The heretical creed of the Arians
Appealed to many barbarians
They liked the idea
Condemned at Nicaea;
Not many became trinitarians

(Thanks, Dr. Slind!)
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Because I'm in a humorous mood:

Ozyfanidas
I met an editor from an SF house
Who said: Two vast and plotless tales of heroes
came in the mail. Next them, in the pile,
Half ripped, an illiterate scrawl whose errors
And stilted prose, and ignorance of basic sense
Tell that its author too much Tolkein read,
Which yet arrive, printed in countless fonts
The hand that plagiariased and the brain that fled
And in the cover letter these words appear
"My name is Ozyfandias, "Writer-man"
Read my works, best-sellers and despair!"
It would not fit the bin. Yet in the rest
of that collossal parcel, I'm unaware
Of hints to the return address.
--Francis Turner

This was posted at Baen's Bar about a year or so ago. (To access the Bar, the discussion board of Baen's Books, click on the link up top. You'll need to create a username and password to get to it.)

On other news, the mower has been acting horribly for the last week, and then it died and we were sure it was permanent. They took it into the shop to look at it, and it worked fine for them, and is now running smoother than it has in a long time. Without them actually doing anything to it. Go figure.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Today's poem is by W.H. Auden.  I've always loved the snarkiness of it.  It also proved once again how much of any poem or story is in the mind of the reader; when we discussed it in one of my poetry classes in college, there was quite a debate about what, exactly, Auden was criticizing--society, the individual, some combination of both.

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Okay, this one isn't exactly high art.  Still, I was a history major and only an english minor, so I have an excuse for putting up a poem like this.  There's more to life than high art.  It's a tribute to a group of men who accomplished something incredible, and then had to go back to ordinary life.  You can check out a little bit of it from the Panama Canal website.  These guys did not think small.

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Those of you from non-liturgical backgrounds might not know that today is Palm Sunday, which (in the Lutheran church, at least,) is also the Sunday of the Passion. I think the Catholics might break that up into two sundays, but I could be wrong.

This means we have two gospels. The first is the Palm Sunday gospel sometimes read in a processional: Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, with crowds singing Hosanas and lining his path with palm fronds and cloaks. The second Gospel reading is the entire Passion narrative, i.e. everything from the Last Supper through the Crucifixion. In my home congregation, we read it as kind of a dramatic presentation, with verses to the Gospel Hymn interspersed to break it up. This year, the lectionary is taken from the Gospel of Mark, the most concise of the Gospels. And we take out the sermon to make room. Still, it's a long service when you put in the whole Passion narrative. For those of us who go to all the Holy Week services, as I do, it means we hear everything twice: the Last Supper on Maundy Tursday, and the Crucifixion on Good Friday.

Anyway, there's a really cool poem by Robert Cording, called The Man Running Naked into the Dark )

It was written in 2004. I'm not that big on most modern poetry, and I don't tend to like free verse, and this poem is both. I heard it during Chapel my senior year at Luther College and fell in love with it.

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