?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

"every bleached, bare bone"

Thanks to sailingwest and hapendfro and others for coming out to hear my talk yesterday morning at Fairy Tales: Told and Retold, Reread and Reinterpreted: Belmont University's Fifth Annual Humanities Symposium. It was wonderful to see you! I was unable to linger after the evening session last night to say hello to all of my friends among the attendees, but I was extremely happy to see the great turnout for that presentation, as well.

Here's some Friday fun: play Halloween Hangman! (Thanks to mamomo for the link.)

Also, if you're in the U.S. and you're interested in Halloween television viewing, don't forget to check out dannyboy8406's wonderful list of Halloween specials here.


For today's macabre Halloween text, I present "The Dance of Death" by Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867):

Carrying bouquet, and handkerchief, and gloves,
Proud of her height as when she lived, she moves
With all the careless and high-stepping grace,
And the extravagant courtesan's thin face.

Was slimmer waist e'er in a ball-room wooed?
Her floating robe, in royal amplitude,
Falls in deep folds around a dry foot, shod
With a bright flower-like shoe that gems the sod.

The swarms that hum about her collar-bones
As the lascivious streams caress the stones,
Conceal from every scornful jest that flies,
Her gloomy beauty; and her fathomless eyes

Are made of shade and void; with flowery sprays
Her skull is wreathed artistically, and sways,
Feeble and weak, on her frail vertebrae.
O charm of nothing decked in folly! they

Who laugh and name you a Caricature,
They see not, they whom flesh and blood allure,
The nameless grace of every bleached, bare bone,
That is most dear to me, tall skeleton!


Come you to trouble with your potent sneer
The feast of Life! or are you driven here,
To Pleasure's Sabbath, by dead lusts that stir
And goad your moving corpse on with a spur?

Or do you hope, when sing the violins,
And the pale candle-flame lights up our sins,
To drive some mocking nightmare far apart,
And cool the flame hell lighted in your heart?

Fathomless well of fault and foolishness!
Eternal alembic of antique distress!
Still o'er the curved, white trellis of your sides
The sateless, wandering serpent curls and glides.

And truth to tell, I fear lest you should find,
Among us here, no lover to your mind;
Which of these hearts beat for the smile you gave?
The charms of horror please none but the brave.

Your eyes' black gulf, where awful broodings stir,
Brings giddiness; the prudent reveller
Sees, while a horror grips him from beneath,
The eternal smile of thirty-two white teeth.

For he who has not folded in his arms
A skeleton, nor fed on graveyard charms,
Recks not of furbelow, or paint, or scent,
When Horror comes the way that Beauty went.

O irresistible, with fleshless face,
Say to these dancers in their dazzled race:
"Proud lovers with the paint above your bones,
Ye shall taste death, musk scented skeletons!

Withered Antinoüs, dandies with plump faces,
Ye varnished cadavers, and grey Lovelaces,
Ye go to lands unknown and void of breath,
Drawn by the rumour of the Dance of Death.

From Seine's cold quays to Ganges' burning stream,
The mortal troupes dance onward in a dream;
They do not see, within the opened sky,
The Angel's sinister trumpet raised on high.

In every clime and under every sun,
Death laughs at ye, mad mortals, as ye run;
And oft perfumes herself with myrrh, like ye
And mingles with your madness, irony!

Tags:

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
arymetore
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
We were certainly looking for you :) We managed to slip into the back of the final session (Terror and Beauty). We plan to be at the 5:30 one today.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry I missed you! Yesterday was a long day - I had one commitment after another. I at least got to sit on the same row as smialers hapendfro and Sarah S. during the final session yesterday evening. I hope you enjoyed it! I'm so glad you could come.
hapendfro
Oct. 27th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to let you know, your talk was absolutley wonderful. I am so glad I was able to attend. Have fun Sat nite on the haunted nashvile walk.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 27th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you SO much! I really appreciate it. I realized you'd probably heard most of that talk before, so I was afraid it would be terribly boring for you. But it was lovely seeing your friendly face in the audience, and I'm grateful you came.

I hope to post pictures from the ghost tour tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. :)

Have a great day!
witchcat07
Oct. 28th, 2006 03:12 am (UTC)
Gee, is he talking about Callista Flockhart? *gasp* Did I say that? Bad me! ;~p

See ya at the ghost tour. Maybe we can capture another pixie on film. :~)
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 28th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
Gee, is he talking about Callista Flockhart?

LOL! Excellent question. He certainly could've been! ;)

See ya at the ghost tour. Maybe we can capture another pixie on film. :~)

Excellent! I'll bring my camera. I can't wait!
sittingduck1313
Oct. 29th, 2006 01:11 pm (UTC)
Don't forget that today's feature at the Symposium is the screening of Hoodwinked. A hilarious fractured faerie tale that's way better than Shrek, and not just because of the lack of flatulence humor. Keep an eye out for hummingbirds singing bass and moles dressed as The Village People.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )