Some Thoughts on Christina Rossetti

I am currently reading a biography about the life of Christina Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite English poet, whose "In the Bleak Midwinter" is so popular this time of year.  You can read the text of the poem here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/238450 

I have always been curious about the melancholy tone of many of her poems.  Many are tinged with sadness, and speak of longing for the respite of death.  Rossetti lived in England in the mid-1800s, a time when single women seeking employment were often encouraged to be governesses, then wives.  Literary genius was thought to be gifted largely to men, but increasingly, women were laying this myth to rest.  Also, the many imperfections of a worldly existence paled in comparison to the Heavenly reward awaiting a child of God.  

Angst was a vital component of creative genius, and Christina Rossetti channeled this into many of her works.  She used her God-given talent to lay bare her soul, and her poetry reflects this on so many levels.  Her works survive to this day because the emotions she repressed in her daily life poured themselves out onto the page via her pen.  I, for one, am grateful for her openness. 


A Font to Remember

It's time to come clean. My name is Leslee, and I'm a fontaholic. A fontaholic is one who, when presented with a body of text, takes more time choosing the font for the text than creating the text itself. There is a dizzying array from which to choose. Do I bore people to death with Times New Roman or Arial? Matisse can cause serious eye strain if the font size is too small.  If  Fiolex Girls is overused, no one takes you seriously. 

Many moons ago, at the esteemed university I attended (the "Harvard of western Wisconsin") the available font choices were few, and Pica and Elite were pretty much it.  Had there been more fonts available, I would probably still be in my dorm's basement, wondering whether to use Papyrus or Segoe Script for my final paper in Dr. Brohaugh's Shakespearean Tragedy class. 


A Little Pomp for our Circumstances....

Gas prices are high, national morale is low.  Leave it to our friends across the pond to raise our collective spirit with a pageantry unmatched by a simple love match, watched by billions of people worldwide.  William and Kate's wedding lived up to its expectations, and rewarded viewers with soaring voices and ceilings, and tidbits of trivia that only diehard royalty fans can appreciate. I, for one, am glad to know that William & Kate are cousins, 12 times removed. In addition to ancestry analysis, there were the fashion police.  They loved the dresses worn by Kate, and her sister Pippa.  They derided the prime minister's wife, Samantha Cameron, who was the only hatless guest at the wedding. Perhaps Victoria Beckham and Princess Beatrice, among others, should have followed Mrs. Cameron's example. 

There was the cute antics of a 3-year-old bridesmaid covering her ears to block out the crowd's noisy cheers. Later, the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge rode in an Aston Martin as they departed from Buckingham Palace.  For the couple that seem to genuinely love and respect each other, and for the worldwide audience, it was a day that gave new meaning to the words of English poet Robert Browning:  "Oh to be in England, now that April's there..."


Wholly Writ

With the proliferation of e-books, e-readers, and e-mail, it would seem that traditional bookstores and publishers would be fearful of their futures.  After all, why buy books online, and have them mailed, or trudge to the bookstore or library in subzero temperatures?  With one click and little cash, that New York Times bestseller can be yours in a matter of seconds. 

I have nothing against e-readers and their owners.  What bothers me is that the future of print books doesn't seem to be bothering enough people. There is something almost sacred about holding a book in your hands or resting it on your lap, turning the pages to see what happens next.  It's cool to buy a secondhand book with an inscription from the previous owner penned inside:  "To Doris, on the occasion of her 18th birthday.  With Love & Affection, Mom & Dad. 1942."  Such inscriptions will become obsolete in the e-book era, and along with it, historical significance. 

Print books still have a place in today's society.  I hope that people will still value print books, collect them, and have shelves full of them.   True literacy will survive when a legacy in print is bequeathed to future generations.  


Memories...light the corners of his mind....

I was driving my little guy home from preschool when out of the blue he asks me, "Mom, remember the peeing pig?"  Last October, at a pumpkin farm, there was a pig there who was a very prolific "pee-er."  Its skills were on display for about a minute and a half, and the audience was awestruck. It was number one at going number one.  For my son to bring this up out of the blue is hilarious, adorable, and typical of boys.


Patriot Missive

Besides me, is anyone in Minnesota cheering for the Patriots?  Their mastery on the football field is something to behold.  They are a poverty of words (with the possible exception of Wes Welker) and a wealth of talent.  Some nameless opponents choose the opposite road, which leads to their desctruction and demise.  With their killer offense, and solid defense they, I believe, will be crowned the 2011 Super Bowl champions.  Now, if we could just get Tom Brady to get a haircut....