Photo by Brooke Estis Bleyl

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Sundries, 120


1. AOTW--I know that self-congratulation is not a virtue, but I fear I am the winner of this week's AOTW. Last week I was at a two-way stop in Hudson (see map below), pointed west on Middleton Road, waiting for traffic to thin so I could turn south on Stow Road. Another car across from me stopped after I'd been sitting there awhile, but he waved me on, and so I turned left, not remembering that I hadn't checked (recently) to my right. I saw a car rapidly approaching, so I gunned the old Prius to avoid a collision, a collision that would have been entirely my fault. The guy who just missed me stayed well back until I turned west, a mile later, onto Aurora-Hudson Rd. and home. He went straight (whew), but I certainly earned some sign language from him, and I most definitely earned this week's AOTW award.




2. I finished three books this week--two from my nightstand (at a 10-pp/night clip). I'll do them first.

     - Mary Beard is a noted scholar of Ancient Greece and Rome (I've read a couple of other things by her), and her newest is SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (2015), a work she wrote for general readers, a work that features many illustrations. (The title is from the Latin Senātus Populusque Rōmānus--the Senate and People of Rome.) She dispels the clouds of false stories, tells us a lot about the lives of ordinary people throughout the Roman Empire (although she acknowledges that far less is known about them than about the wealthier, more powerful classes). She does not focus over-long on such things as the assassination of Julius Caesar, the doings in the Colosseum, and other things which many people know a tad about; instead, she shows how those events fit (or don't) with the patterns of Roman life. She is cautious throughout, as well, reminding us that people write things down for reasons--and some of those reasons are flattery (self- and otherwise), concealment, and the quite conscious attempt to revise the truth. Very good book. I should probably read it three more times to get more. But, lazy, I won't.

     - And speaking of Rome ... I finished (just last night) the first novel of Wilkie Collins (1824-1899), a writer best known for The Moonstone and The Woman in White (both of which I've already read). I liked those two novels so much that I read a short biography of Collins (Wilkie Collins: A Brief Life, 2015, by Peter Ackroyd) and then began reading his novels in the order that he wrote them. (He wrote many other sorts of works, too; I'm focusing on his fiction.) His earliest is the one I just finished--Antonina; or, The Fall of Rome (1850). It is the story of the Goths' siege and sack of the city in 408-410 CE. Collins follows the historical events closely, but he focuses on young Antonina, a Roman girl whose strict father expels her from her home when he blames the innocent girl for an indiscretion. Outside the city, she is rescued by a young Goth warrior, who sets her up in a distant farmhouse and visits her every day--no, not for that (not in an 1850 novel--the same year, by the way, as The Scarlet Letter).

Well, things don't go well. The Goth warrior, in violation of his trust, is discovered; Rome withers without food; a vengeful Goth woman pursues Antonina; and ... Aw, I ain't tellin'. Of course, the city falls, but what happens to Antonina and her father (with whom, late in the novel, she reconciles?).

Collins also deals with the clash between the "old" religion of Rome (the myriad gods) and the rise of Christianity--and the ensuing conflicts and bitterness. This is personified in the character of Ulpius, a former priest of the old ways who is willing to do anything to restore those ways. (He has a most appropriate end!)

I enjoyed this book a lot--though it does go on and on and on. But such is Victorian fiction ...

Oh, and tomorrow in this space, a surprising story about the actual copy of the book I read. Quite a discovery ...

     - The third and final book I finished this week was Richard Russo's 2009 novel That Old Cape Magic. Followers on this site know that I've been reading all of Russo's work--in the order he wrote it--except for Nobody's Fool (1994) and the sequel, Everybody's Fool (2016). The film of Nobody's Fool (1994--with Paul Newman, et al.) is what first drew me into Russo's work. I read those two books, one after the other.

Anyway ... That Old Cape Magic ...  This is a story of two weddings--and (as is customary in Russo) the deep history that precedes them. Jack Griffin is the son of two snooty professors (Dad is dead; Mom in decline), both of whom are frustrated because their careers landed them in Indiana, not at some prestigious Eastern college. Son Jack gets interested in screenwriting, has a modest career in Hollywood (very modest, actually) and ends up teaching at a university, as well. He has married Joy, who has an odd family (as if he doesn't), and when the stories commence, their marriage is somewhat ... stressed. Their own daughter, Laura, is about to marry as well.

Well, as we go through the story, truths begin to emerge, some not until near the very end, and, as is also necessary in Russo, you'd better be paying attention to the smallest details because they are often small in size only, not in significance.

Some usual Russo humor--including the man who marries Jack's divorced mother; the man's name is Bartelby, and several times Russo has Bartleby "preferring not to" do something! (And Melville fans will chortle.)

Russo writes often about family (its collapse, its enduring effects on those who belong), about the difficulty of love, about the need for the capacity to forgive. And this novel is no different.

I'm a little sad. There are no more Russo novels to read. There is a novella that's on its way to me (Interventions, 2012) and a memoir, already in the house (Elsewhere: A Memoir, 2012). And then begins the wait for something new ...

3. We're happy that a new season of Longmire is back on Netflix (streaming). We've watched the first one and are already realizing how much we've forgotten about last season. Oh well. (Link to trailer for new season.)



4. We're also watching a Netflix (DVD) documentary (2011) about writer/philosopher/cultural figure Paul Goodman (1911-1972): Paul Goodman Changed My Life. It's interesting to watch (I read a lot of Goodman back when), though not all that interesting (repetitive interviews with folks who knew him). We've watched (maybe) 2/3 of it and hope to finish tonight or tomorrow. A little bit goes a long way. (Link to trailer for the film.)


5. An interesting moment in Kent the other night. We'd driven over there and decided to take a look at the last house where we'd lived there, 114 Forest Drive (we sold it in 1978, the year we went to Lake Forest, IL). Well, as we were drifting by, we saw a couple of folks who looked as if they might be the current owners carrying some boxes of pizza into the house. I stopped, hailed them, and had a great chat about our time there in the 1970s, the changes. They invited us in--but we thought we'd pass. And did. (Maybe another time?)

114 Forest Dr.; Kent, Ohio
from the 70s, when we were living there
6. Final words ... from my various online word-of-the-day providers ...

     - poppism, n.
The act of making a smacking sound with the lips  Obsolete
Forms:  16 popisme,   17 poppism.
Origin: A borrowing from French. Etymon: French popisme.
Etymology: <  French †popisme (1534–5 in Rabelais in Middle French) <  classical Latin poppysmus (also poppysma) <  ancient Greek ποππυσμός, in Byzantine Greek also πόππυσμα <  ποππύζειν to smack the lips, make a clucking sound, reduplicated form with expressive gemination, of imitative origin + -μός, suffix forming nouns (also -μα: see -oma comb. form).
Compare the following earlier use of the classical Latin word in an English context:
1601  P. Holland tr. Pliny Hist. World II. 297 Touching the manner of worshipping and adoring flashes of lightening, all nations..doe it with a kind of whistling or chirping of the lips. [margin] Poppysmus, in setting our lips close together, and drawing the breath inwards.
1653  T. Urquhart tr. Rabelais 1st Bk. Wks. xxiii. 104 The prancing flourishes, and smacking popismes [Fr. popismes], for the better cherishing of the horse, commonly used in riding.
1753 Chambers's Cycl. Suppl. at Adoration, The method of adoring lightening,..was poppisms, or gentle clappings of the hands.

     - Flavescent  \fluh-VES-uh nt\
adjective
1. turning yellow; yellowish.
Quotes
A few flavescent leaves, shed during delivery, fell to weaving the carpet that would be finished by nightfall.
-- Patrick Chamoiseau, Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows, translated by Linda Coverdale, 1999 
Origin of flavescent
Flavescent entered English in the mid-1800s. Its immediate source is the Latin present participial stem flāvescent- “becoming golden yellow, yellow” from the verb flāvescere “to become golden yellow, yellow.” The verb derives from the adjective flāvus “golden yellow, yellow.”


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Quick Recall? What's That? I Forget ...



I'm getting frequent reminders these days that my Quick Recall is now my Not-So-Quick Recall. Just yesterday, for example ...

  1. I posted a couple of days ago on Facebook that--in honor of the equinox--I'd memorized W. H. Auden's poem "Autumn Song" (link to poem).* It didn't take me all that long--about a day, looking at it now and then, repeating it over and over. But there was one word--one damn word--that I kept forgetting. It's in the fourth stanza--"Trolls run scolding for their food." And scolding, for some reason, would not stay in my head. Then ... yesterday ... I hit upon a mnemonic device: "run scolding" I reduced to RSC, the letters of the Royal Shakespeare Company. How could I forget that! I proudly went in to see Joyce and announced my superb mnemonic. Then ... early the next morning ... running through the poem in bed, I could not remember that word. I remembered the SC business, but I could not come come up with the word that began with sc-. I confessed. Joyce laughed (gently, gently). Then I realized that troll and scold are words that sound alike, and so my problem was solved ... until this morning ... see the * below.
  2. Yesterday afternoon, walking around the indoor track at the health club, I was rehearsing in my head some sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay, one of which was "Only until This Cigarette Is Ended." (See below.) It's a poem I occasionally had my WRA students memorize, too. Well, yesterday, when I got to the 8th line (the one that ends with attended), I realized I was saying extended again--not possible: she'd already used that rhyming word. I assailed my memory, searching pitifully through its ruins for the word that really belonged. Could not come up with it and had to wait until after my shower when I could consult my trusty iPhone. This is a poem I have rehearsed thousands of times, by the way.
  3. Finally, last night, coming back from Szalay's (a farm market near us), Joyce and I--neither of us--could come up with the name of Truman Capote. I forget (!) how Capote came up in the conversation (we were talking, I think about the liberties a nonfiction writer can take?), but neither of us could name him--though both of us could describe him, could list his books, could imitate his voice, etc. I told Joyce after a bit that his name, I thought, started with a C because I could sort of "see" his books on our shelf. A moment later ... she had it! Whew!
So ... Time marches on, trampling my Quick Recall underfoot with the utmost disregard--even disdain.

*Okay, a bit of a shock this morning. When I was setting up a link here for readers who wanted to read the Auden poem, I discovered that the version I'd memorized is not, apparently, the accurate one. I just now ordered the scholarly edition of Auden's poems, so when it arrives, I'll be able to tell. I actually prefer the "newer" version I found online ... what do you think? (They're both posted below.) I'm gonna go ahead and "revise" what I've memorized ... and we'll see if I've done the right thing ...


MILLAY SONNET

Only until this cigarette is ended,
A little moment at the end of all,
While on the floor the quiet ashes fall,
And in the firelight to a lance extended,
Bizarrely with the jazzing music blended,
The broken shadow dances on the wall,
I will permit my memory to recall
The vision of you, by all my dreams attended.
And then adieu,--farewell!--the dream is done.
Yours is a face of which I can forget
The colour and the features, every one,
The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;
But in your day this moment is the sun
Upon a hill, after the sun has set.


AUDEN VERSION I MEMORIZED

Autumn Song
—W. H. Auden

    Now the leaves are falling fast,
    Nurse's flowers will not last;
    Nurses to the graves are gone,
    And the prams go rolling on.

    Whispering neighbours, left and right,
    Pluck us from the real delight;
    And the active hands must freeze
    Lonely on the separate knees.

    Dead in hundreds at the back
    Follow wooden in our track,
    Arms raised stiffly to reprove
    In false attitudes of love.

    Starving through the leafless wood
    Trolls run scolding for their food;
    And the nightingale is dumb,
    And the angel will not come.

    Cold, impossible, ahead
    Lifts the mountain's lovely head
    Whose white waterfall could bless
    Travellers in their last distress.



AUDEN VERSION I FOUND TODAY (AND PREFER)

Autumn Song


Now the leaves are falling fast,
Nurse's flowers will not last,
Nurses to their graves are gone,
But the prams go rolling on.

Whispering neighbors left and right
Daunt us from our true delight,
Able hands are forced to freeze
Derelict on lonely knees.

Close behind us on our track,
Dead in hundreds cry Alack,
Arms raised stiffly to reprove
In false attitudes of love.

Scrawny through a plundered wood,
Trolls run scolding for their food,
Owl and nightingale are dumb,
And the angel will not come.

Clear, unscalable, ahead
Rise the Mountains of Instead,
From whose cold, cascading streams
None may drink except in dreams.

March 1936

Friday, September 23, 2016

Snug as a Bug ...


1960s Me would be incredulous about 2016 Me.. (Or, more probably, ashamed.) I usually head up to bed (these days in the autumn of my life) about ... 6:30 p.m. In earlier (and healthier and younger) days I would not head up until around 11 p.m., at which time I would watch the 11 o'clock news, maybe Nightline afterward, maybe Johnny Carson. I rarely slept more than six or seven hours.

Not no more. (I'll tell more in a bit.) Now we eat about five, go for a little drive (errands, McD's for Diet Cokes), then ... home ... and upstairs ...

So what do I do when I get all snuggled up in my bed? (I love that word snuggle, by the way: It sounds and looks like its meaning. Snuggle, says the OED, goes back to the late 17th century and goes back to an even earlier verb, snug: To lie or nestle closely or comfortably, esp. in bed; to snuggle. Snug also was a nautical term, meaning adequately or properly prepared, and we all know that old expression snug as a bug in a rug (which dates to 1769; I like its predecessor: snug as a bee in a box, 1707)).

I'm getting off the track. (Dotage! Dotage!)

Anyway, I'm snug as a bug around 6:30, so what do I do then?

Well, most evenings I read from a pile of books, 10 pp in each. (So ... in a thirty-day month that's, uh, 300 pages in each of the books.) I slowly, slowly finish (most of) them.

On my pile last night (listed in the order of my reading them--an order that does not vary until I finish one):

  • Wilkie Collins: Antonina; or, The Fall of Rome
  • Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Kindle)
  • Michael Harvey: Brighton: A Novel (Kindle)
  • Stephen King: 11/22/63
  • Mary Beard: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
  • Nathan Hill: The Nix: A Novel
  • Carl Hiaasen: Razor Girl
Last night, I finished SPQR, and I already have its replacement ready: I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Young (2016).

I'm nearly done with both Collins and King, as well, and already have substitutes lined up for them. (I'm reading Collins' works in the order that he wrote them. Antonina was his first novel.)

Some nights I don't read from all of them--I'm too tired (lazy/), but I always try to read from Collins, even if he is the only one. Doing this was how I got through all 47 of Anthony Trollope's novels, all of Thackeray, too.

After I finish reading, about 7:30 or so (?), I'll watch some of an old Rockford Files (once again, I'm streaming my way through all of them--probably the 20th time or so). Then ... the best news ... Joyce arrives!

She's been reading and/or writing in her study, waiting, I think, for the Rockford theme, her signal (?) that it's time to get ready to join me.

When she arrives, we'll watch something on Netflix or Hulu or something--a British mystery. Last night we began a Netflix (DVD) documentary about the recently deceased Paul Goodman (Paul Goodman Changed My Life, 2011). We watched (and liked) a bit of it, then ended my conscious moments with some of an older Mike Birbiglia comedy special on Netflix. I began to drift a little before 9 ...

Joyce stayed a bit. We mumbled back and forth. Then, sensing I was just about gone, she headed back to "her" room (the spare bedroom), where she read another hour or so (she's more of a Night Person, does not sleep very much). 

And so ended another Night of Wonders on Church Street in Hudson, Ohio.

I would not trade such nights for anything ...



Thursday, September 22, 2016

I'm Pitching Today


I'm pitching today. I'm sure of it. I'm not too worried, even though I haven't pitched a game for more than fifty years. I pitched some in high school--when I wasn't catching (no, not at the same time!)--and I had a pretty decent curve ball, a "fast"ball I tried to keep out of the strike zone.

Once, when our Hiram High Huskies were playing a game down at the Hiram College field (of dreams), I allowed one to go right down the middle of the plate, and the Crestwood HS batter, Mike Cusak, hit it to dead center field, about a mile away. I didn't watch the ball. I watched our center fielder, Andy Krauss, who glided to the ball ... approaching the fence ... caught it! Andy was a good one.

After the inning was over, I strolled back to the bench as if I'd done something awesome. And feeling the greatest relief a human being can feel. I mean, Mike hit that ball a ton.

I don't know how I know I'm pitching today. But I do. I'm not even sure for whom I'm pitching . I don't seem to have a uniform. Do I have a mitt? I must have. Somewhere.

As I approach the diamond--which I both do and do not recognize--I see gathered there many players from throughout my boyhood--Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio. I call them by name. (I cannot remember a single one now.) They smile and greet me, as well.

I am loosening up a bit by throwing shadow pitches--"throwing" with no ball in my hand. I'm a bit stiff. But I should be okay. Shouldn't I?

I remember getting a sore arm for the first time when I was a senior at Hiram High School. It was a cool, wet spring. And my throwing arm hurt. My girlfriend rubbed some greasy stuff on it (was it Bengay? or that stuff my dad used to call "goose grease"?). It burned a little--but seemed to work. I remember thinking I can't possibly be hurt ... I'm Dan Dyer!

The game hasn't started. I still don't know where I am.

And then I do.

In my own bed. About 3 o'clock in the morning. I've been playing in the field of dreams.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Frankenstein Sundae, 243


No, I haven't forgotten. No, I haven't quit this project. (Hell, I've got 400+ pages of text; no way I'm going to forget about it!)

I'd stopped some time ago because I reached 1828, the year that Mary Shelley (a widow for five years) was approached by Frances Wright--a brilliant and radical (for her time) woman who wanted Mary to go with her to the United States to help her promote the experiment in Tennessee near Memphis--Nashoba, a community Wright had created to help teach former slaves (men and women she had purchased and freed) the skills and crafts they would need to "make it" in pre-Civil War America.

Mary declined. Wright very much impressed her, but Mary had grown a bit more cautious. She'd learned about the indignities that liberals and radicals had suffered (her parents, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft among them); she'd suffered tremendous damage to her own reputation because of her 1814 elopement with Percy Bysshe Shelley, a married man. Back in England now (after her husband's 1822 drowning in Italy, near Viareggio), she was trying to live a quieter life. She had a son, Percy Florence Shelley (middle name indicates the Italian city of his birth), just about to turn 9 at the time of Wright's visit. Mary wanted him to have a quieter, more conventional life (which he did).

As I've written previously, Mary often heard from admirers of her mother, whose A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792--and other titles) had made her a polarizing figure in English society. These correspondents expected the daughter to be a bud on the same Wollstonecraft stem. She wasn't--at least not in her mother's way. She'd been devastated by the deaths of her own children in Italy (only son Percy had survived) and was now back in England, struggling to get by on a thin allowance from Sir Timothy Shelley (her late husband's father, a man who despised her; they never met face to face) and on the proceeds from her writing, which continued throughout the rest of her life (she would live more than thirty years after Frankenstein, 1818). But her writing did not earn her a lot, so until Sir Timothy died in 1844 (and her son became Sir Percy), she and her son were living very modestly.

So ... why did I pause (the last Frankenstein Sundae post was July 27, nearly two months ago)? Because I realized I needed/wanted to learn a bit more about Fanny Wright before I proceeded. I've acquired her book Views on Society and Manners in America, 1821 (an epistolary work) and am reading it--slowly (obviously). When I finish I will leap back into this account of my pursuit of Mary Shelley's story.

I've been fully aware, too, as I've gone along, that I have repeated myself, that I have sometimes drifted too much into biography and retreated too far from memoir. I will correct those imbalances when I revise.

But I can't revise till I finish. And I can't finish until I get Wright's story more fully/firmly in my head. Mary still has a little more than 20 years to live, and there are some other key stories of hers to tell. And I want to write some about her other novels and books. There are quite a few besides Frankenstein, and some of them are of great interest ...

So ... I have, as I said, not given up. Or quit. I'm on Pause. Play will come soon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Clutter ...

September 20, 2016
9:57 a.m.
Virginia Woolf wrote a little book--A Room of One's Own (1929--actually, a long essay based on some lectures)--about women and writing and having a space to write. I've actually had a space like that since very early in our marriage. The year our son was born (1972) we moved to a (rented) home, 214 S. Willow St. in Kent, Ohio, a place recently razed to make room for the Esplanade project there in Kent. (Oh, the shrines! The shrines we lost!) Both Joyce and I had studies there, though, I'll admit, mine was better. (It doesn't help to say that she insisted I take that space; I was still a jerk to do so.)

Anyway, in every subsequent home of ours--rented and owned--we've both had a room of our own. (Right now, as if to compensate for 1972, Joyce enjoys virtually all our upstairs!)

The picture above shows my current space. And--to put it mildly--it's cluttered. (Miss Havisham would blush with embarrassment.)

Rewind.

I was never all that good about keeping my room clean. I didn't get a room of my own until I was about 13. Prior to that I'd "shared" space with my older brother and then, later, my younger. My older brother terrified me with tales of The Man in the Closet in the mid-1940s when we were living at 1609 1/2 East Broadway, upstairs from our maternal grandparents, and I still kinda keep closet doors open at night. (Not really--but it's kind of amusing to think so, isn't it?)

In Hiram, Ohio (where we moved in the summer of 1956), I had a room of my own in the house we bought after we spent a year in college housing. It was small; it had no heat vent. (I had to rely on the kindness of my nearby brothers to keep the doors to their vented rooms open so that I could avoid freezing to death in winter; they didn't always comply ... can you imagine?)

And in that room (as I said, I was about 13 or so) I first learned that I was incapable of keeping my space uncluttered. (I rarely even made the bed.)

Our parents tried everything--warnings, punishments, sanctions, Oreos. My mom even tried a financial incentive: extra $$ on the allowance for a clean room. Little brother Davi snapped up the extra $$, as did my older brother. I, however, had principles and would not be bought! (Though, okay, I sometimes swiped money from my older brother, who kept it "hidden" under a little serape that covered his dresser--a serape that bulged in key places.)

I have gotten (somewhat) better over the years--I make the bed; I keep "my" part of the bedroom (somewhat) neat. The clutter throughout the house is (somewhat) manageable.

But in my room? My study?

Well, the picture above tells that sad, sordid story. I am a curious mixture of organized and messy. I know where stuff is--pretty much.

Back to the Future (well, the Present)

Today I am disgusted when I look at my room. So ... I am going to spend the next hour like Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee, whirling around my room, making decisions about things, decisions I've delayed for decades (in some cases) ...

... PAUSE WHILE I PLAY MARY/NANNY ...

Well, it's a little better, I guess--some things tossed, some things filed, some things hidden elsewhere (out of sight ...). So much more to do. But I'm tired of it. (Where's Mary Poppins when you need her?)

But Miss Havisham just stopped by, smiling.



September 20, 2016
11:28 a.m.

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Poetry in Motion"


Last evening, once again, a song from youth popped into my head--and, so far, has refused to pop out again. I don't know how it happened. Joyce and I were driving along through the evening countryside (as is our wont)--perhaps we were talking about poetry?--and suddenly here came "Poetry in Motion"--the tune, the lyrics (well, almost all of them)--gently rocking through my head.

It could be, too, that I retained some wispy memories of a New York Times obituary I'd recently shared on Facebook. It begins: "Joseph B. Keller, an honored mathematician who figured out what makes a jogger's ponytail swing from side to side ...." (link to entire obit.) Maybe that's where the jiggle got into my head ...?

I could not have named that song's year very accurately last night--I knew it was from adolescence ... but when? Early? Late? I also could not come up with the name of the singer.

Home, I checked Google and discovered that the song, performed by Johnny Tillotson, released in the fall of 1960, reached #2 on the singles chart in November, the month of my sixteenth birthday.

I was a junior at Hiram High School that year and involved in so many things--sports, drama, choir, band, newspaper--that my schoolwork occupied a very low rung of my ladder. My high school transcript confirms this: a D+ in Algebra II (2nd semester grade), all B's in English.

Testosterone was the High King, and because of all the poetry in motion around me I was finding fidelity to a single girl an impossible standard to uphold. (It was my junior year that my long-time girlfriend, weary of me, spent the year dating ... my best friend. That was awkward.)

And so "Poetry in Motion" was a perfect song for these dissolute days. (See lyrics below.) I was noticing, believe me, the "gentle sway" of the girls in my school. I read online, by the way, that the songwriters had been "inspired" to write it when they saw groups of girls emerging from a nearby school. (Dirty Old Men!)

And who was Johnny Tillotson (TILL-ut-sun)? Born in 1939 (he's five years older than I), he had an archetypal and fairly swift rise from a modest background (his dad ran a gas station) to Grammy award nominations. He had some other hits--perhaps the biggest being "Heartaches by the Number" (1965). He stayed in the music business, has stayed active, has a webpage (link to Tillotson site).

YouTube has videos of an older Tillotson singing the song--but I found an "original" version (just with still photos). link to song

Well, I hope writing about this will evict the song. It was fun to remember it, not so fun having it continually dancing its way through my mind, the lyrics even moving my lips occasionally. Remembrance of things past can grow wearisome.



Poetry in Motion

When I see my baby
What do I see
Poetry
Poetry in motion

Poetry in motion
Walkin' by my side
Her lovely locomotion
Keeps my eyes open wide

Poetry in motion
See her gentle sway
A wave out on the ocean
Could never move that way

I love every movement
And there's nothing I would change
She doesn't need improvement
She's much too nice to rearrange

Poetry in motion
Dancing close to me
A flower of devotion
A swaying gracefully

Whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa

Poetry in motion
See her gentle sway
A wave out on the ocean
Could never move that way

I love every movement
There's nothing I would change
She doesn't need improvement
She's much too nice to rearrange

Poetry in motion
All that I adore
No number-nine love potion
Could make me love her more

Whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa

Songwriters
ANTHONY, MIKE / KAUFMAN, PAUL

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group