Kubla Khan Read by Benedict Cumberbatch

I recently posted that Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan is my favorite poem.  Then I found this clip of Benedict Cumberbatch reading it.  Although the cadence and pace are not the same as the way I typically read it, which is really similar to the way my college professors did, the change in pace shifted my focus to words and phrases in another way, emphasizing different imagery and motion, especially in the middle.  Its interesting, I like it.  Have you ever been to a poetry reading?  I think it might be fun.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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X-Men Days of Future Past Trailer…Oh, Yeah

Yes, please. Just take my money now. I’ll definitely be in the theater for this one. Anyone else with me?

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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More poetry

Have you ever found something that worked its way inside and just refused to leave?  Coleridge’s Kubla Khan did that to me.  The very first time I read it or heard it, I just couldn’t let it go, and I don’t know if I could tell you exactly what grabbed me.  Each time I read it, I am caught again.  Every. Single. Time.

Kubla Khan

BY SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
   The shadow of the dome of pleasure
   Floated midway on the waves;
   Where was heard the mingled measure
   From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
   A damsel with a dulcimer
   In a vision once I saw:
   It was an Abyssinian maid
   And on her dulcimer she played,
   Singing of Mount Abora.
   Could I revive within me
   Her symphony and song,
   To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
I’ll resist delving into Coleridge’s story about an opium induced dream as the creation story for this piece…well, I’ll mostly resist.  Whether truly a dream, finished or unfinished, it doesn’t really matter.  It is just beautiful.  Are there any songs, poems, books that grab a hold of you this way?
‘Til next time,
Jessica
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Today’s Word

Today's Lesson

Today’s word is all me.  If I didn’t get yelled at so frequently for things like not eating or sleeping, I’d spend every evening writing until I ran out of words…or couldn’t keep my eyes open any more.  Heck, if I could find a way to pay the bills, I’d drop this job and spend all day writing too!  However, bills must get paid, and bodies need fuel and sleep (apparently).

 


To Boldly Go

 

 

Roddenberry's Star

Roddenberry’s Star (Photo credit: thewind)

 

To Boldly Go

 

In Oklahoma, we have this great media company, This Land Press, that tells the stories of our state that don’t get a lot of attention.  Through them, I’m learning a lot about the place I’ve spent more than half my life.  For example, today, I discovered that there is a place with a set made to resemble a Star Trek bridge.  You can go film there, take pictures for weddings, whatever…for free.  I’m not a huge Trekkie, although I’ve watched just about every episode aired, and every movie made (… wait … that’s a lot of Star Trek … maybe … whatever).  Now, I really want to write a short screen play, gather up anyone who wants to a film a movie…on a Star Trek bridge…in Oklahoma City…

 

‘Til next time,

 

Jessica

 

 

 

 

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This Is Boston

Nocturnal view of Boston metropolitan area captured by an #ISS crew member on April 6, 2013.

Lately, Boston has been on my mind, for a lot of reasons.  With the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing yesterday, I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am that those I know who ran in the marathon escaped without physical injuries, even though the tragedy has become part of them.  Which led to wondering how people can really think violence is a good resolution for…anything.

That’s when I came upon this image taken from the International Space Station last year, and it is just breathtaking.  I get to see that up close and in-person next month (that would be the city, not the space station…although if you can make the space station thing happen, I wouldn’t turn it down!)  I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity and the resources that I’ll get to visit a city that played such an integral role in the creation United States.  A lot of history can be found in those streets, and I can’t wait to take it in.  The countdown has begun…

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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This Is Why I Fly Southwest

 

Stuff like this is why I travel Southwest.  I don’t work for them, and they’re not sponsoring this in any way, I just travel a lot.  Any time I get the chance, I’ll pick Southwest.  Although, I haven’t had any flight attendants who were quite that funny, but they’ve come pretty darn close. My flights have been serenaded by the flight attendants, treated to comedy shows by both the attendants and the pilots, and in general treated as real live human beings.   Their enjoyment of their jobs shines through, every time.

When I think about the people on planes, myself included, I realize the flight attendants have really difficult jobs serving clientele who are, more often than not, already travel worn, weary, and sometimes nervous about the whole process (we’re leaving off the air sick ones, because…eww).  In other words, not at their best, and they still try to make the travel experience a little better and more pleasant.  They’re always thanking us for choosing to travel with them, but anyone who can make a 6:00 am  or a 10:00 pm flight a little more comfortable or fun always gets a warm smile and a “thank you” from me.

 

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

 

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Ode to A Nightengale

Keats read by Benedict Cumberbatch…poetry month. (Yep, that’s the only reason I found this…poetry month.)

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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Hank Green Explains What Boys Look For In Girls

Sort of explains…I like Hank Green, and not just because he goes off on a tangent here.  You go, Hank.

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Still Happy!

Ladies and Gentlemen, my work week is at an end.

Tonight I celebrate my father’s birthday. (Happy birthday, Dad!!) We’ll have tasty Mexican food (or as Mexican as Tulsa really gets, which is not actually all that Mexican.  Also, if you know where I can get real Mexican food in Tulsa, let me know.) laugh, tell stories (we’re good at that) and then…well, someone will decide and we’ll do something else. (At last check, nothing was decided…that could have changed.)

After that, I got nothing….let me tell you, that is grand. It makes me (you guessed it)…happy. Saturday and Sunday all with nothing that needs to be done, just what I want to do. (Laundry and basic house maintenancey things don’t count, because they. never. end. Sometimes…being an adult sucks.)  Movies, music, reading, legos, at least one random act of kindness (truly random, because I have no idea what I’ll do) and possibly actually, finally, finishing the furniture project I started…I don’t even remember when at this point. (Procrastination.  It isn’t pretty but it is real.)  The forecast calls for rain on Sunday, which is perfect for snuggling up with a good book or movie.  Also, I have a need to finish Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.  I have suspicions…hmm…

Dexter has also become fond of tug-of-war outside.  He doesn’t have to worry about knocking over anything, apparently that also includes me, and he wins more often.  A dog toy scavenger hunt is also apparently planned, since most of Dex’s toys are no longer inside…how well do you think he hid them?

What do you have planned? Do your pets hide toys too?

‘Til next time,

Jessica


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