Richibi’s Weblog

Just another weblog

the importance of proper spelling‏


on the library website, where I often browse
new comments on borrowed items, books
mostly, or films, someone had written the
following heady indeed, though terse
enough, observation about Titanic  
            “I was BALLING by the end of this!”
with even the capital letters
hi, I had to reply, I’m sure you meant
“BAWLING”, and not “BALLING”, just
checking, cheers
leaving my own not especially otherwise
pertinent critique about the film
couldn’t help it 

XXXlll. Yes, call me by my pet-name! let me hear – Elizabeth Barrett Browning‏

from Sonnets from the Portuguese

XXXlll. Yes, call me by my pet-name! let me hear

Yes, call me by my pet-name! let me hear
The name I used to run at, when a child,
From innocent play, and leave the cow-slips piled,
To glance up in some face that proved me dear
With the look of its eyes. I miss the clear
Fond voices which, being drawn and reconciled
Into the music of Heaven’s undefiled,
Call me no longer. Silence on the bier,
While I call God – call God! – So let thy mouth
Be heir to those who are now exanimate.
Gather the north flowers to complete the south,
And catch the early love up in the late.
Yes, call me by that name, – and I, in truth,
With the same heart, will answer and not wait.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Elizabeth Barrett Browning introduces
immediacy here in the very first beat by
making her metre trochaic – dum, da –
instead of iambic – da, dum – we’re in
the midst of already the conversation,
where Browning, Robert, had called
Elizabeth by a nickname, probably,
I would think, his “Portuguese”, the
“Portuguese” of these very poems,
and she peremptorily corners us, him

then, despite her insecurities, she
commands, as I’d earlier, maybe
somewhat sardonically, implied,
but we all have, don’t we, our
idiosyncratic peculiarities

“call me by my pet-name”, she insists,
like those who loved me used to do
when I was young, and that I ran to
when they called so that I could
beside them “glance” at the reflection
in their eyes of my very indeterminate
for me validity

but whose “voices” now, sadly, have
become “the music of” a perfect
“Heaven”, which is to say, where those
who have been there retired, “drawn
and reconciled”,
are “undefiled”

only “Silence on the bier”, no reply, no
sound at all, from even the divinity she

“So let thy mouth / Be heir”, she charges,
as she is wont to do when she isn’t fretting,
be their counterpart, your “north” their
“south” flowers, their “early” your “late[r]

“and I, in truth, / With the same heart”, as
when I left so hurriedly my “cow-slips”
“will answer and not wait” to fly at your

and all in only fifteen lines, to my,
hopefully helpful, several, with each
of hers sporting rich and resonant
even rhyme, which probably went
nevertheless mostly at first glance
unnoticed, to my fewer maybe, and
more insidiously covert ones

wherein lies, of course, the artistry,
the buttons don’t intrude on the
fabric, the garment’s pristine
symmetry, the poem’s potent