October 27th, 2006

Pretender/Terribilis

"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!

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    "Dance of the Trolls," The Mediaeval Baebes
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