Saturday, May 26, 2007

To A Mouse, by Robert Burns

I love this poem, even if it is a little depressing. I found a place online where you can listen to a woman reading it. I found it makes a lot more sense if you have a proper Scottish accent.

On turning her up in her nest, with the plough,

November, 1785

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie,
O what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae (so) hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith (loath) to rin an' chase thee
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun (must) live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave (an occasional ear of corn out of 24 sheaves)
'Sa sma' request:
I'll get a blessin' wi' the lave (remainder),
And never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin:
And naething, now, to big (build) a new ane,
O' foggage (moss) green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin'
Baith (both) snell (severe) and keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste
An' weary winter comin' fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell
Till, crash! the cruel coulter (iron piece in front of plough) past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble
Has cost the mony (many) a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole (endure) the winter's sleety dribble
An' cranreuch (hoarfrost) cold!

But, Mouse, thou art no thy lane (not alone)
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, (often go awry)
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.

Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Percy Jackson

The new Percy Jackson book is out. It was exciting and I read it in about a day and a half. But, I was disappointed, and a little excited, that it wasn't over over. The plot had some conclusion, but I get the feeling there's going to be at least 2 or 3 more books in the series. Something to look forward to, I guess.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

How Green Was My Valley

Yes, it's beautiful. Beautifully written. Beautiful scenery. Beautiful people. But, I had no idea what was going on most of the time. You can't do much about the Welsh names: Huw, Angharad, and Mr. Gruffydd. However, from what I understand, it's written like how Welsh people talk. One man says to another man, "now, my little one, ah y fi, don't cry, is it?" What?

But, that's not that big of a deal. You get the point. My major, big, huge, gigantic complaint with the book is that he finds out he fathers an child out of wedlock and does nothing. The whole book is about honor, right? His father is always belting his brothers and him for even looking at other girls or the like. His brothers beat up another man because he talked to their sister without asking their father's permission. And yet, Huw fathers a child, which everyone knows about, and one sentence, "I felt shamed" then nothing. Poor Ceridwen, simply brushed aside. I couldn't enjoy the rest of the book because I kept waiting for his father to call him in and tell him what's what. Or for him to try and go find her and marry her. I fell right out of love with him and considered him a jerk for the remainder of the book, which I read only on the off chance he was going to turn around and do the honorable thing. I have to admit, every time I turned a page, (of which there are 500, so I did it a few times) I would scan for Ceridwen's name, not find it, and be irritated all over again.

Maybe the movie is different. I hear it won all sorts of awards.