Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Thursday, November 30, 2017

I woke up, and it was all a dream.

When I was teaching, I used to tell my middle-schoolers (in my latter years) that if they ever used for an ending of a story they were writing the sentence you see as the title of this post, well, automatic F.

I never had to impose that punishment, however: There's something about automatic F that resonates (or resonated, anyhow) with eighth graders.

We'll get to the endings of stories in just a sec.

One assignment I tried a few times (and it seemed to go fairly well) was to give students an opening sentence, and for a couple of years I gave them opening sentences I liked from novels I liked. Sure, I used Call me Ismhael as one of them, but I think my favorite was this one from Larry McMurtry's 1987 Texasville:

Duane was in the hot tub, shooting at his new doghouse with a .44 Magnum.

Now, some good stories came out of that one, I can tell you!

When I worked on writing fiction with my eighth graders, we would practice a variety of things--descriptions, sequencing and dating, beginnings, dialogue, employing the thoughts of characters, and so on.

And, of course, endings.

I proscribed, as I said, the "dream" ending (too hackneyed, too easy a way out of a problem you've written yourself into), though I well knew that some great works of fiction had employed that device to one extent or another. (Shakespeare springs to mind.) And those of us of a certain age can remember how the old TV nighttime soap Dallas explained away an entire season by declaring it had all been a dream.

Anyway, for some reason, sitting in the coffee shop yesterday, I thought about how that it-was-all-a-dream ending might make for a much more interesting beginning sentence. Where, I wondered, could that sentence lead you?

Let's see ...

I woke up, and it was all a dream. I grabbed my phone, checked the date. The time. It was 6 a.m. My usual time. But the date! The date! My phone--which never lies--said it was 2015 ....

You get the idea. All of the crap that's actually happened the past few years has not happened ... Now that is a dream from which I wish I'd never been awakened.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I think I remember the end of that film The Bridge on the River Kwai, which I've not seen in many, many years. It was released in October 1957, just a month before my thirteenth birthday. I saw the film shortly afterward--and I think it was in Chicago, where I'd gone with my friend Johnny Kelker and his dad, who was the admissions guy for Hiram College, where my dad taught. Some kind of recruiting trip. Got to see this great film as a result.

Okay--the end. Some captured British soldier (WW II--southeast Asia), the bridge having just been blown up, standing in the stream, crying "Madness!"

I just looked at a video clip of the end of the film, and the guy is not standing in the water when he first cries "Madness!" So much for my memory, sixty years later. (Link to that clip.) (But ... the clip ends just before the end of the film ... I still think he was out in the water by the end!)

Anyway, I was thinking about "madness" today because I know that I suffer from a particular form of it--bibliomania. (See OED definition below.) Many of you probably know that Joyce and I have been selling volumes from our library on this Internet site: Link. Joyce, who does by far the most work on this is very diligent, every morning adding some books to our list that now has about 2400 titles. She also handles the packing and mailing. I, well, I scan the book jackets for her--it's so hard, you know? Exhausting.

Here's the problem: I keep buying. (So does she--though not nearly so much as I do.) Just the past couple of days the following volumes have come into our house:

1. unnamed (it's a gift for Joyce--Christmas, you know)
2. A William Faulkner Encyclopedia (1999)
3. John Banville, Mrs. Osmand (2017)--based on H. James' The Portrait of a Lady.
4. Jonathan Blunk, James Wright: A Life in Poetry  (2017)

We did sell a couple of books this week--but our net (math! math!) is +2. Keep that going for a while, and we'll soon have no place in the house to sit down.

The only difference between me and a Cat Lady? Shelving. (Which is now, due mostly to me, in scant supply once again.)

Of course I don't read everything I buy. I want to ... but often before I get to a book I want to read, here comes a newer one that I really want to read. And so the Want to Read pile grows ever more like a Tower of Babel--and you know what happened to it!

So ... on it will go, I suppose, until it can't.

At which time our son will (1) call a disposal service or (2) call a used book dealer to come get them all (3) sit in our tub, turn on the water, and cry "Madness!"

bibliomania, n.
Etymology: < biblio- comb. form + Greek μανία madness, after French bibliomanie.

  A rage for collecting and possessing books.

1734   T. Hearne Diary 9 Nov. (1921) XI. 389   I should have been tempted to have laid out a pretty deal of money without thinking my self at all touched with Bibliomania.
[1750   Ld. Chesterfield Let. 19 Mar. (1932) (modernized text) IV. 1517   Beware of the bibliomanie.]
1809   Dibdin (title)    Bibliomania, or Book-madness; containing some account of the history, symptoms, and cure of this fatal disease.

1836   T. Hook Gilbert Gurney II. i. 11   The bibliomania which appeared to engross my friend.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


the old mill in Pendleton, Ore.

This afternoon, Joyce and I will drive down to the closest Pendleton Outlet (near Lodi, Ohio--38 miles southeast of us). It's nearing "that time of year," of course, and in the Dyer family (for many years) "that time of year" has meant "Pendleton Time."

But now, I see, we're not going.

While checking the distance on Google Maps, I looked for the location in Google's search window and saw that Pendleton was no longer listed among the outlets at Ohio Station Outlets down in Lodi. I called the number of the store. Disconnected.


This was going to be a lovely day--warm sunny weather, a drive with Joyce, a visit to Pendleton (which, for me, is a return to childhood), an upward spike in a credit-card balance. Some thoughts of some happy faces on Christmas ...


My father grew up in Oregon, only about thirty miles from the town of Pendleton, site of the woolen mill. We visited that place--the mill--when I was a boy, and I've visited it since. Took Joyce there. Our son, Steve, when he was a wee one. One of the first presents I bought Joyce was some wool there, wool that Joyce and her mom (a wonderful seamstress) transformed into a dress.

I still have a dear cousin who lives in Pendleton. She, by the way, was instrumental in saving their old Carnegie library from razing. It's now an arts center. (And this reminds me--O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!--as the ghost of Hamlet's father cries out--about how my home town of Enid, Okla. did raze its old Carnegie in 1972. Damn.)
Pendleton Center for the Arts
For years, our parents gave my brothers and me Pendleton shirts--the sort of shirt to wear over another one. Warm, warm, warm. A half-dozen remain, hanging in my closet.


Over the years Pendleton gifts have been SOP in our family. Blankets, sweaters, shirts, skirts, a cape (!), even weird little things, like woolen-covered notebooks.

We have (at least) three Pendleton blankets on our beds. (Nothing warmer.) We have given our son and his sons blankets for Christmas. And my mom. And my brothers ...


I'm wearing Pendleton right now (a blue pull-over top my son and his family gave me for my birthday earlier this month). Throughout the winter I'll wear one of my Pendleton sweaters--lighter ones, heavier ones--just about every day.


Oh, sure, we can buy some Pendleton online. Some department stores (remember them?) carry some Pendleton. Or, sometimes, I get lucky at Marshall's or TJ's. I found two good sweaters there a couple of years ago--price slashed because it was spring; I've worn both of them already this winter.


But ... going in a store, smelling the wool, feeling the products you're going to buy? Gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Our Revels Now Are Ended?

2018 Stratford Festival
information booklet
A week or so ago I had to make one of the most unpleasant decisions of my life. Oh, on the World Scale of Unpleasant Decisions mine would not have registered much weight, but in my wee life, it was ... consequential.

Since the summer of 2001, Joyce and I--every single summer--have driven to Stratford, Ontario, for a week at the Stratford Theatre Festival (used to be the Stratford Shakespeare Festival), where we would see as many as eleven plays in six days--usually three or four by the Bard. We were able, over the years, to see just about all the plays he ever wrote--a journey we completed a few years ago by seeing Richard II at Shakespeare and Co. in Lenox, Mass.

We would arrive on Monday afternoon, park our car at the inn downtown where we almost always stayed (Mercer Hall, Room 201); we would not drive again until we headed home after the Sunday matinee at the end of our week. We walked to shows at the four main venues: the Tom Patterson, the Festival, the Avon, and the Studio.

We found the coffee shops we liked, the bookstores, the restaurants ...

And had a week worthy of a let's-all-be-happy ending of a Shakespearean comedy.

We had to plan, though. We reserved our room a year ahead. We could begin buying our tickets early in November. (I would always print out the list of shows and give them to Joyce in a Christmas card; she would always feign surprise.)

So ... we have our room reserved. But when the day for the ticket sales recently came, I could not pull the trigger. Not this year.

As regular visitors here know, I will soon be undergoing a new cancer treatment. (I'm scheduled for January--but it's tentative: We have to get insurance approval; we have to hear from the two venues--the Red Cross in Akron, Seidman Cancer Center near University Circle).

I don't know what this procedure is going to do to me. I don't know how I will feel in the ensuing weeks, months. I don't know how my pesky, determined, and deadly disease will behave.

And so--after talking it over with Joyce--I decided I would not buy tickets this year. I would cancel our room reservation.

Since 2001, we've seen more than 150 shows up there, and it has always been, for us, about the best week of the year. Food for conversation for months.

Not long before the end of The Tempest (perhaps my favorite of all the plays), Prospero delivers that famous speech beginning with "Our revels now are ended" (see below for the whole thing). I have some history with that speech. I memorized it shortly before I retired from Western Reserve Academy in the spring of 2011. I had planned to recite it to each of my three classes just before I dismissed them for the final time.

But when I started in with my first group of the day, I didn't get very far before I broke down. Could not continue. I didn't even try later in the day. I knew I had dissolved into a Weepy Old Man, and I didn't really want to confirm it to every class.

But ... perhaps "ended" is a bit strong here. I'm hopeful that the health issues that both Joyce and I are facing will stabilize--next year? A year after that? One can dream ... didn't the Bard write about that, too? (Often, often.)

But I also know the wisdom of Prospero. I know now that, indeed, "our little life / Is rounded with a sleep." I'm just hoping--dreaming!--that it does not commence too soon.

[there's a little bit before and after this--but this is the heart of it all]

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack* behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep. (4.1)

*a broken cloud

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday Sundries, 167

1. AOTW: Hard to believe but the same driver--the same previous winner of this prestigious award--executed the same maneuver on me that won her the award last time: viz., approaching me in the parking lot at the health club as I am exiting, then swerving left in front of me to enter one of the parking lanes. No signal, natch. But a brief smile from me: the first two-time winner!

2. Last night, Joyce and I drove over to Solon for two tasks: (1) Mustard Seed Market for some flour and honey; (2) the Solon cinemas to see The Man Who Invented Christmas, the story of Dickens' efforts to write A Christmas Carol in 1843. We both loved the film--loved it. Blathered on and on about it all the way home. In their biographies of Dickens, neither Peter Ackroyd nor Fred Kaplan comments much about the difficulty Dickens had with the writing (the film shows him as blocked--and severely so); in fact, he seems to have written it quite easily, thank you. And there were some other chronological issues we'll not get into.

But still. The film is really about an artist at work--about what influences him or her, about how, for a writer, the characters begin to inhabit the artist's space, live there--even chiding and challenging the writer. Christoper Plummer was fantastic as the image of Scrooge (and there's a funny scene, by the way, as Dickens tries to come up with a name for this character), giving the Old Dude some slight hints of humanity.

I also enjoyed the back-and-forth with Thackeray (also accurate in its way).

I confess: I had tears in my eyes at times. For all kinds of reasons. A Christmas Carol has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was a little boy, there was a professor at Phillips Univ. (where my dad and grandfather also taught), Earl Oberg, who had memorized the book and gave public performances during the holidays. (A few years ago I found on eBay a recording of what he'd done!) I read the book. Some years, I used it with my middle school students (in dramatized form); some years, I took kids on field trips down to the Cleveland Play House to see the production. I was first terrified by a movie when I saw that  old  one with the scene of Scrooge in the graveyard. And on and on.

I also went on a "Dickens Kick" some years ago and read all of his novels. I've read the major biographies. And so ... Emotion won on Saturday night. And I was glad about it! Sure, I could quibble about some things, but I won't. I'd rather weep.

Link to trailer for the film.

3. I finished two books this week ...

     - The first was the latest by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, which was a perfect book for the Likes of Me (seriously deprived). I read it via Kindle, at night in bed, a chapter at a time, and I loved it. Tyson has an amusing, even ironic style and the rare ability to make obscure things clear (more or less!). The little book is basically a summary of what we know right now in astrophysics: from the Bang to black holes to multiple universes to life on other planets to ... I don't want to take a test on the book (or even a reading quiz), but I did enjoy reading it. He has the ability to make Dumb People (me) feel, well, less so!

     - I also finished Intruder in the Dust, 1948, the next in my series of Faulkner-novels-I've-not-previously-read-so-I'd-better-do-it-before-it's-too-late. And I liked this one--a lot. It's in Mississippi (duh), and an old (crotchety) black man has been arrested for the murder of a white man--and it looks as if he will not survive a single night in jail (a lynch-and-burn mob is assembling). The old man sends for lawyer Gavin Stevens (a recurrent character in Faulkner) and tells him he did not commit the murder. And Stevens' teenaged nephew, Charles "Chick" Mallison, is sure the old man could not have done it, and so with his (black) friend Aleck Sandler and with the surprising help of an older white woman, Miss Habersham (Dickens is smiling!) they go to the cemetery where the victim is buried, and they become, well, intruders in the dust.

The action moves along well, though there are (this is a Faulkner novel after all!) some astonishing sentences, a page or more long, with riffs on everything from racism to the South to the Meaning of Life.

Faulkner can be uncomfortable to read (the voice of a white man writing about black people in rural Mississippi in the 1940s--some Words You Don't Want to Read are scattered throughout). But check out this passage about white privilege--from 1948. Just some of it (I'm too lazy to type it all):

"...--the whole white part of the county taking advantage of the good weather and the good allweather roads which were their roads because their taxes and votes and the votes of their kin and connections who could bring pressure on the congressmen who had the giving away of funds had built them, to get quickly into the town which was theirs too since it existed only by their sufferance and support to contain their jail and their courthouse, to crowd and jam and block its streets too if they saw fit: patient biding and unpitying, neither to be hurried nor checked nor dispersed nor denied since theirs was the murdered and the murderer too; theirs the affonter and the principle affronted: the white man and the bereavement of his vacancy, theirs the right not just to mete justice but vengeance too to allot or withhold" (394, Lib of Amer edition).

4. We've started streaming the final season of Longmire, and, again, I'm struck at how different the TV version is from the novels (which I'm slowly, slowly reading). It's a cliche, I know, but I like the books better.

5. Final Word: a word I liked this week from one of my onlne word-of-the-day providers:

     - from dictionary.com (I knew the word torpor--did not know this form of it):

torporific [tawr-puh-RIF-ik]
1. causing sluggish inactivity or inertia.
Should you contemplate purchasing a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, a "mega-genius" according to Aaron (in private), he will tell you beforehand that García Márquez "is so rococo and torporific you'll need an insulin shot every twenty pages."
-- John Nichols, On Top of Spoon Mountain, 2012

The English adjective torporific is Latinate but not Latin. Latin has the noun torpor “numbness, stupor” and the suffix -ficus “making, producing” (as in magnificus “grand, great”), but not the compound torporificus. Torporific entered English in the 18th century.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fruitcake Time

Batch #2
25 Nov. 2017

I know, I know. Nobody likes fruitcakes. I don't either, normally. But these? These I baked from a recipe my grandmother used throughout my boyhood--and my mother, too. I'm sure--as I've written here other years--that Grandma Osborn did not invent this recipe; she no doubt took it from one of those magazines that used to be called "women's magazines." Times change. But not the fruitcakes.

I try to make them just as my mother wrote down the recipe for me years ago. Okay ... a few changes. I like dried apricots, so I use a cup of them instead of a second cup of candied fruit. For years I used Egg Beaters instead of the four eggs the recipe calls for (not this year: Egg Time!). But--for the most part--it's just as Mom wrote it down.

Mom would make them during the Thanksgiving Break (she was a teacher); I've been doing the same--even though I'm retired now and could make them Any Old Damn Time I Want To! But ... tradition. After they cool, I'll wrap them in foil and store them in the fridge until it's time to bestow them on (grateful?) neighbors and family.

This is the only kind of fruitcake I can abide. It's a "white" one--none of that dark, dank stuff of Holiday Legend, stuff that people have been passing around, uneaten, since Joseph and Mary rejected the one offered by one of the Less-Than-Wise Men. (The gold, by comparison, looked pretty good.)

I've posted the recipe on this site on other years, so if you want it, you can Google "dawnreader fruitcake" and probably find it quite easily.

It takes about an hour from prep time to clean-up. Baking (at 325) adds about and hour-twenty more. Oh, make sure you soften the butter ahead of time: You need to cream it with the brown and white sugar. (I just realized another change I make: I use soy butter!)

The batch you see is the second group of five I made; I baked their older siblings yesterday. Now I have ten. (Math matters!)

Joyce and I will resist the temptation to "try one"--you know, just to make sure it's all right to share with others? Whenever we do that--"try one"--we end up eating the whole damn thing in the kind of frenzy that would alarm a shark.

Anyway, I've got other baking to do between now and the holidays, but I like this part of it about as well as anything. The smell. A magic-carpet ride back to boyhood, a carpet I seem to enjoy riding more and more as I distance myself chronologically more and more from boyhood.

Wanna take bets on whether or not one of these dudes survives the afternoon?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

This Will Be a Good Day

It's already a good day--at least around here. Although it's a bit nippy outside, it is sunny and dry, making it safe for travelers, of whom, of course, there are myriads making journeys long and short. We wish safe arrival to them all.

I got up this morning at the usual time (around 6), fussed around in my study for a bit (reminding myself of the Food Duties I will have a bit later); Joyce, having done some Kitchen Fussing already, headed out to the health club, which (why?) was open this morning. (Mine was also open, but I have standards!)

So, for my exercise, I walked down to Starbucks (Open Door is closed today--standards!)--a walk of about a half-mile each way (says Google Maps); my backpack weighs about thirty pounds, fully loaded (as it invariably is)--so that walk equals a full-hour on the stationary bike, right? (It's polite to agree with Old Guys on holidays!)

There were only a handful of people there when I arrived about 7:15, so I got a primo chair. The place quickly filled, though, so I was ... lucky. I did my usual: read the New York Times on my Kindle, checked what was happening on email and Facebook (not much on a holiday), then read my daily quota* from the book I'll be reviewing tomorrow for Kirkus Reviews (it will be my 1429th review for them since March 1999, when I published my first). I called Joyce to see how things were going. (Okay, she said.) I read the Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon-Journal on my iPhone apps, then walked back, entering a house that already smelled of holiday. (Is there a better?)

Joyce was fussing with the turkey (her job!); in a bit, I will peel five lbs of potatoes for my son to smash a little later. (I already baked some sourdough bread and some cornbread for the meal--and Joyce will use some of the latter for the stuffing.)

We're aiming to eat about 3-ish. Before then, our son (Steve), his wife (Melissa), his awesome sons (Logan, 12; Carson, 8), and his father-in-law (Bill) will arrive and the merriment and the guiltless gluttony will commence.

I will think all day long about those who are not here (see my post yesterday for details) and will hope for a call from my brothers, Dick and Dave, up in Becket, Mass. (in the Berkshires), where they will be able to go see my mom in nearby Lenox in the nursing home; I'm hoping they will call me from her room. I try to call her several times a week but rarely connect: She's 98 now and doesn't always know what to do with a phone when it rings. But hearing her voice? That is of the most immense importance. I have heard her voice since November 11, 1944; I never want to stop hearing it.

So, as I said, this will be a good day ... strike that. A great day.

You have one, too!

*I divide each book I'm reviewing into 100-pp segments and read one each day, almost always the first thing in the morning at Open Door.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

When I was a boy, this question never could have found its way into my brain: Will this be my last Thanksgiving? In childhood—for most people (for lucky people)—thoughts of last are as remote as, well, as that book report that’s due next week. (Next week is forever—I’ve got plenty of time to read that book!)

My boyhood Thanksgivings were ... astonishing. No Vegas gambler has ever been so lucky. Born on November 11, 1944, I was too young to remember my first one (which, coincidentally, was also on the 23rd). I see from my mom’s hospital bill that the 23rd was the final day my mom was in the hospital with me—St. Mary’s Enid, Oklahoma. So ... were we there all day? Or home? Whatever--my first Thanksgiving dinner was you-know-what.

Only weeks old, I could not know, either, that my father—who didn’t yet know I was even born—was in Europe with the U. S. Army. World War II. Dad was a chaplain, and one of his grim tasks—and one of the few aspects of the war he would ever talk about—was having to write letters to families to tell them of the worst loss they could imagine. He saved carbon copies of those letters for years—for decades—always, he said, in case a family should lose theirs and want another.

Dad was something. He died shortly after Thanksgiving in 1999. We drove out to Pittsfield, Mass., to see him in his final days. The nursing home. You know ...  Thanksgiving was on November 25, He died on November 30. He was 86. Just thirteen years older than I am now.

Most of my boyhood Thanksgivings we spent with my maternal grandparents, Edwin and Alma Osborn, in Enid. (During my earliest years we lived upstairs in an apartment above their house. So my first Thanksgiving at home would have been there.)

They were marvels, those two, my Osborn grandparents. (Both our son, Steve, and I share “Osborn” as a middle name.) He was an ordained Disciples of Christ minister (he baptized me), had served as the minister at University Place Christian Church in Enid—and was on the faculty of the Bible College at Phillips University (RIP) there in Enid. He and my grandmother were two of the kindest human beings I’ve ever known. Grandpa published books on religious subjects—Christian worship was his specialty. (You can check him out on the Internet. Link to a site.)

After we left Enid in the summer of 1956 and moved to Hiram, Ohio, we spent some wonderful Thanksgivings with my parents’ dear friends, the Sharps and the Rossers. Dad was teaching at Hiram College (1956-66), and Paul Sharp was the college president (Mom and Dad had known the Sharps, Paul and Rose, since their student days back at Phillips); Ed Rosser taught chemistry at Hiram (I would take one of his classes later on—got a “B,” which was kind of a gift: I was a dunce); Ruth Rosser, his wife, taught, as my mom did, at James A. Garfield HS in nearby Garrettsville, Ohio.

The Sharps had three children (as the Dyers did), and we were close in age; Marcia, the Rossers’ only child, was my classmate in the Hiram Schools. We all liked one another—maybe “loved” is a better word? Each year we would assemble at someone’s house (there was a rotation) and spend the day eating, talking, eating, laughing, eating, watching football, eating ... napping ... thinking all was forever ...

Some years—when the weather cooperated—we would play what we called our Annual Bowl Game—touch football out in the yard.. It wasn’t as fierce as that game in Wedding Crashers, but I would be lying if I denied that there was some ... competition out there on the gridiron! (Link to video of that scene.)

I look back on those years so fondly—they seemed, then, to have about them the aura of always. Yet I know there were only about a half-dozen of them.

Later, in the 1966-67 academic year—the Sharps were gone; my parents had joined them out in Des Moines, Iowa, at Drake University (where Dr. Sharp was the president); I had begun my teaching career in Aurora. Just before Thanksgiving, I got a call from Mrs. Rosser: Would I like to join them for Thanksgiving? Would I! I think I wept as I hung up the phone. I’m about to start again, right now. Such a kind, wonderful family. They knew I was alone ... and knew that wasn’t good, especially on Thanksgiving.

Joyce and I married on December 20, 1969. (We had met just months before, in July, in a summer grad school class at Kent State.) We were spending all our free time together that fall, so I’m pretty sure we were together for that holiday. But where? With her folks in Akron? With mine in Des Moines? I wish I could remember. We did spend some Thanksgivings with her family, some with mine. (Soon, both became “ours.”) We tried to spend one major holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas) with her folks, one with mine. It was hard—700 miles from Kent (where we were living) to Des Moines. Seven hundred miles back.

Joyce’s folks were superior human beings. Once they adapted to the realization that she was going to marry me, they accepted me without reservation (well, without any evident reservation!), and we spent many wonderful Thanksgivings with the Coynes (her family)—and with her relatives who lived nearby, in and around Firestone Park in Akron. They were all so kind to me—and they adored Joyce.

Later on, when my two brothers, Dick and Dave, bought an old farmhouse out in the Berkshires (in Becket, Mass.), we often drove out there to be with them—sometimes in weather so bad that only an idiot (Daniel Osborn Dyer) would attempt such a drive. We did this many years—until that 550-mile drive (each way) became Too Much for poor old me, until health (mine) said, No way.

Those were great times in Becket. My brothers, their families, my parents—all swarming together in that old farmhouse, destroying the kitchen, laughing, telling (for the 1000th time) embarrassing family stories about one another (I somehow seemed the butt of most of them—but, then again—I was a butt for a long, long, long time), watching bad TV, going out to see worse movies ...

One year, alone (our son in college and elsewhere), Joyce and I tried going to a little place up near Lake Erie to have Thanksgiving. It was some sort of package deal—room, dinner, etc.

We hated it. Headed out as soon as we has eaten the last slice of (bad) turkey. Never again, we said.

In recent years we’ve been having a Thanksgiving dinner at our place. Often our son and his family are able to come (they, too, have to deal with that complicated in-law choreography). We love it. We bake and roast and whatever for a week before. And the food is great, of course. Better: seeing our son, his wife, our dear grandsons (12 and 8).

They’ll all swarm into our house tomorrow. We can’t wait. We love them all, boundlessly.

When you’re younger, you’re of course unaware that any moment you draw breath could be the last one. Death—that’s for other people, right?

I’m about to undergo a complicated medical procedure to see if I can wrench a few more months (years?) out of this fragile frame of mine. It’s tentatively scheduled for January. We’re all hopeful—as optimistic as latter-year cynicism and realism permit.

And meanwhile? For me, every single day has becomeThanksgiving.

May yours be as wonderful as mine ...

Monday, November 20, 2017

"Photographs and Memories ..."

The Kid, 2nd from left
Garrett, far right
Old photographs have been in the news lately. Someone lucked out and bought for $10 a tintype of a picture that shows both Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, the man who would shoot the kid dead in 1881. (Link to New York Times story.) Another one that hit the news was, of course, of Sen. Al Franken, feigning a groping move on a sleeping woman. (That went over well ...) (Link to Atlantic story about it.)

Old photographs have played a recent role in our lives, too. We've been cleaning out our basement (due to our waterproofing project down there), and in a box of assorted things, we found this photo of our son, Steve (about one year old), with my late father, Edward Dyer (who was about sixty at the time). They are out on the back porch of my parents' home, 3500 Wakonda Court; Des Moines, Iowa. Both my parents were teaching at Drake University at the time. I took the picture with a 35mm camera--summer of 1973.

I love this picture; I don't know why it was in a box. But it ain't no longer: In a frame, on a shelf where I can see it every day.

Just one more now. The other day a friend from high school, Ralph Green, published on FB some photos he'd found of our class' tenth reunion--1972. There's a picture of Joyce and me at a table with some others. I'm talking with my former basketball coach (and driver ed teacher!), Bob Barnhart (RIP). Priceless. (I'm the guy with the mustache and white sweater, to the right-center.)

Okay, we're almost there--almost to the point I want to make. But one more thing first. On Saturday night I saw Daddy's Home 2, and there's a scene at a school production, and when the thing begins, every parent in the audience whips out his or her phone or tablet and begins photographing/videoing (?) the action on the stage. Lots of laughs in the audience.

And then it was I began to think about how in these days--when virtually everyone is walking around with a camera--photographs are so abundant that I wonder if they can any way be as--what?--precious(?) as they once were--when a few photographs lived in few photo albums.

I have so few photographs of the people I knew and loved in childhood--in fact, I have none of some relatives I knew well. So different from today ... My iCloud holds so many pictures now--yet it's really holding no pictures at all. Just digital information. Fragile digital information. I don't print any of them very often. Store them anywhere. They are literally molecules in a cloud.

I saw a video ad the other day for a new smart phone-camera that responds to voice commands. A woman is out floating in the water saying "Selfie! Selfie! Selfie!" and you can hear the camera's sound--click! click! click!

Another precious moment captured.

Link to video/song: Jim Croce, "Photographs and Memories" (1972)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Sundries, 166

1. AOTW: I actually thought I would get through the week without having a winner. Then ... a gift from ... from wherever. Yesterday (Saturday), driving home from the health club (north on Ohio 91), I was approaching a side street (with a stop sign) on my right. I saw a car approaching its stop sign. But the car did not stop but pulled out right in front of me. Brakes. Bad words. I didn't recognize the driver at first--and then I did! It was the AOTW!

2. Joyce and I finished streaming the recent Netflix documentary about Joan Didion (Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold)--and we both loved it (although some of the reviews have been less than flattering). A writer's life--right there for you to look at. One thing I really enjoyed (and which really touched me): Didion's very active use of her hands and arms as she talks--almost as if she trying to grab her words from the air. (Link to film trailer.)

3. Last night I went to Kent to see Daddy's Home 2 (I know, I know)--principally because of a popcorn-craving. (If you eat it in the dark, as everyone knows, there are no calories.) I was surprised, on a lousy rainy night, how crowded the lines were, and even my theater was pretty much full (not to mention the enormous lines for the new superhero movies). Anyway, the film was absolutely As Expected. More of the same. (Now, an unkind comment: Isn't Will Ferrell getting a bit long in the tooth to play the daddy role?) (Link to film trailer.) And as for Mel Gibson ... can't stand him anymore.

4. I finished two books this week ...

     - The first was one I've been reading at my in-bed pace of 10 pp/night--Robert Sapolsky's Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (2017). There are nearly 700 pages of principal text (not counting Appendix, notes, etc.) ... so you can figure out how long it took me to read it!

But I loved it. Learned something new on just about every page (and, of course, promptly forgot most of it ... still). Sapolsky--a MacArthur Fellow and a prof at Stanford--is an excellent writer, mixing the dense with the light (like a good bartender!). He's interested in explaining why we are like we are--why do we demonize others? Why are we capable of such despicable--and praiseworthy--behavior? And here's  a little nugget from p. 602: "The biology of the behaviors that interest us is, in all cases, multifunctional--that is the thesis of this book." In other words, no simple, one-cause thinking about behavior is allowed! Not in these wonderful pages ...

I might read this one again. I enjoyed it that much.

     - The second was the second novel by Jennifer Egan (I'm reading her novels in the order that she wrote them). I'd known about Egan for a long time but had not read anything by her, until I saw the reviews for her new one (Manhattan Beach, 2017--link to New York Times review), I figured it was about time--no, past time. (Besides, she won a Pulitzer a few years ago, 2011, for A Visit from the Goon Squad.) So, off I galloped!

Look at Me is a very prescient novel. Written in 2001, it forecasts the incredible extent of the Internet--of social media. Charlotte (often, not always, our narrator here) is a fashion model (a very successful one), and the novel begins with a car crash, with the damage to her face, damage that surgeons repair, and she looks good, but not as she used to. Her career crumbles. Later on, an Internet guy convinces her (as her funds are running out) to let him tell her story on a new website he's setting up, and near the end of the book we return to the crash site to re-enact it for video cameras so that it can appear with her story. (It becomes--surprise! surprise!--wildly popular.)

In between all of this, we get the story of Charlotte's youth, of her niece (also Charlotte), of her involvement with all sorts of people--including a mysterious guy named Z., who seems to be some kind of foreign agent--including a private eye. Some of the connections did not dawn on me until near the end when I realized (duh) that Charlotte 1 and 2 were not the exact same story. (Stories within stories ...)

The model and her niece--two young women who want to be noticed (see the title) and who sacrifice much to see that this happens.

A dark look at us.

5. Decided this week that it was time to learn Hamlet's little speech to the skull of Yorick. And now ... I've got it!

(from Arden edition)

HAMLET : Let me see.
Takes the skull
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
bore me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let
her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.

6. Final word: A word I liked this week from my various online word-of-the-day providers:

      - from dictionary.com--one of those words that seem as if they ought to mean something else--something to do, in this case, with pasta!

macaronic [mak-uh-ron-ik] adjective
1. composed of a mixture of languages.
2. composed of or characterized by Latin words mixed with vernacular words or non-Latin words given Latin endings.
His wife and daughters understood only English but together they rocked in unison on the settle and sang macaronic songs in a mixture of both languages.
-- Benedict Kiely, "The Heroes in the Dark House," A Journey to the Seven Streams and Other Stories, 1963

Macaronic verse—it can scarcely be called poetry—is associated especially with medieval universities, in which the various “nations” of students, e.g., English, Welsh, Scots, Picards, Normans, Paduans, Milanese, etc., all listened to lectures delivered in Latin and asked and answered questions in Latin. Such bilingualism, more or less fluent, invites bilingual puns and, sad to say, scurrilous verse. Perhaps the most popular macaronic verse in the contemporary United States is the Carmina Burana, a collection of 254 mostly bawdy and irreverent poems dating from the 11th or 12th century, from Benediktbeuern in Bavaria. The carmina were written in Medieval Latin, Middle High German, Old French, or a mélange of Latin and the vernacular languages. The German composer and conductor Carl Orff (1895–1982), who was born in Munich, about 45 miles away from Benediktbeuern, set 24 of the carmina to music in 1936. Macaronic entered English in the early 17th century.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Is This Really Happening?

Some of you know I got some darker medical news this week--news that will involve my participation in a new procedure that involves removing portions of my blood, sending them to Atlanta for transformation (making them, we hope, into better cancer fighters), returning them here to be returned to my body. (This will happen three times over five weeks.)

Okay. Are you guessing this will be expensive? (Duh!)

My insurance company has not yet approved the expense, but I do know this: If the approval does not come, there is no way we can afford it.

And so we come to the relentless GOP determination to attenuate or--even better, in their view--destroy the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).  Now, I will acknowledge--and quickly, too--that the AFC has some problems--problems that could be fixed if you-know-who would agree to it.

But, no. Obama did it. So, ipso facto, it must go!

The latest tactic is to eliminate the individual mandate--the requirement that you have health insurance. This kind of mandate seems not to bother us at all (and even qualifies as a "no-brainer") when we apply it to auto and home insurance, right?

Ask yourself: How much would car insurance--would home insurance--cost you if other owners of cars and homes were not legally required to buy it--if they (or you) could, well, opt out?

The cost would rocket out beyond our Milky Way.

The case is even more compelling with health insurance. There are people who will never make a claim on their auto insurance, their home insurance. They just pay premiums, year after year after year.

But the chances of your one day needing medical insurance? One hundred percent. (Unless a UFO whisks you away for some ... experimentation.)

I don't even want to mention the patent cruelty of arguing that some people "deserve" health care and others do not. (I just did--mention it, that is; it's a rhetorical device called apophasis*.) (Sneaky, eh?) Such "only-the-deserving" thinking is, I think, in violation of every religious and moral code I learned in childhood--and beyond. As Hamlet said about the skull: "My gorge rises at it."

I would happily pay higher taxes to help people who need it. (Talk about a "no-brainer"!).

We need to act as if we truly believe those things we profess to believe--that do unto others stuff, you know?

We need to treat all people with the same kindness and empathy we would if we knew that they were dying.

But, wait ... we all are dying ... right?

* apophasis (from Merriam-Webster): the raising of an issue by claiming not to mention it (as in “we won’t discuss his past crimes”)

Friday, November 17, 2017

On This Day ...

Facebook has a feature called "On This Day"--a feature that enables you to look back at the things you posted on "this day" in previous years--and perhaps share them again. That way your loyal FB friends can scroll past the post a second time--or third--or whatever.

I am guilty of two things: (1) sharing things from previous years, (2) not examining with much, uh, thoroughness the on-this-day posts of my FB friends (the definition of hypocrisy, eh?).

In my defense (Your Honor): Most of the on-this-day posts I share are items about literary birthdays and events. I mean, Robert Frost will always have been born on March 26. Do I really have to create a novel post to share about him on every damn March 26 from here on out? I think not!

Anyway, to get to the point (something at which I am not very good): Today on my "On This Day" list appeared a photograph I'd taken through the coffee shop window, 7:15 a.m., November 17, 2014. (That's three years ago, for those of you who were absent the day your teacher taught subtraction.)

And here it is ...

A perfect mixture of the lovely and the depressing, eh? We had a few flurries around here the other day, but nothing has stuck. And the temperatures are not really all that cold (40s, upper 30s), but we here in northeastern Ohio are skilled at complaining about the weather--even when it hasn't happened yet. Even when we feel only a hint of it in our bones. (A toss-up: Do we moan more about the Browns or the weather?)

For some reason this year it's just felt colder to me--colder than it actually is. Perhaps that's because I'm older. Perhaps that's because I know what will be coming (I've lived in the area since 1956).

Or maybe I'm just turning into "a whiney who bores people so" (a line from an old children's record we had when I was growing up--Manners Can Be Fun; has there ever been a title more laughable?).

Or, worse: I'm turning into one of those people who post on Facebook a bunch of unpleasant junk that they posted years ago? (The tacit message: I'm smart. It's going to get cold and yucky around here very soon. Aren't you glad you're my friend so that you can know such things? Otherwise, of course, you would not/could not know them!)

In my defense, I did not share that photo on FB today ... well, not directly. I mean, I will be sharing it, sort of, when I link this post to FB.

Sue me.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Brown Leaves Blowing

image from the Internet

The last few mornings as I've walked along Main Street in Hudson, on my way to the coffee shop, I've noticed myriads of large brown leaves tumbling from north to south along the sidewalk. There are no large trees on the west side of Main (where I walk), so, of course, these leaves have blown across the street from the Village Green--and from nearby Aurora Street--where large, older trees do live and display their various incarnations to us as each year progresses: buds-leaves-turning, leaves-dropping, bareness for Old Man Winter, who gets just what he deserves.

I confess I'm not much of a naturalist, so I'm not sure what variety of tree dropped them. Around here, though, it's pretty safe to bet they're from a maple or an oak. Maybe a black walnut. (Ignorance is never bliss, by the way, as I'm rediscovering by typing these sentences.) I went to elementary school in a day before leaf collections became a staple assignment in science class--either that or I just neglected to do mine, a failure of which I was eminently capable in my boyhood. Why run around collecting leaves when there are baseballs to be thrown, basketballs to be dribbled and shot, Alamos to be saved?

In high school, our son had a biology collection to assemble--and, one day, going up the on-ramp to I-480, westbound, in Twinsburg, Joyce and I spotted a dead black snake alongside the road. We stopped (endearing ourselves to those who followed us), found a stick, picked up the snake, tossed him/her in the trunk, thereby earning our son a bio-class bonus. (If you're wondering, dead snakes do smell bad.) Oh, parents-doing-homework-for-their-kid! Shameful!

Pause while I think like a former English teacher.  The lead sentence in the previous paragraph could have been a wonderful example of a dangling participle if I had just written the sentence a little differently: ... going up the on-ramp to I-480 westbound, in Twinsburg, a dead black snake .... I kind of like that image: a dead black snake going up the on-ramp ... Sounds like a possible horror movie? I'll pitch it to Hollywood ... We've already had Black Snake Moan (2006) ... it's time for Black Snake up the On-Ramp!

So about those blowing leaves ... Those of us in the autumn of our lives see such things with different eyes. The leaves cause us to think about the homogeneity of the dead. Though people dear to us will moan (like a black snake!), perhaps, when we die, it won't be long--another generation? two?--before, to the living, we will become no more than brown leaves blowing down the sidewalk.

In 1809, William Godwin (Mary Shelley's father) published a little pamphlet/booklet called Essay on Sepulchres. In it, he proposed that England should establish markers for the graves of their notable dead. And publish the locations. (Has Find-a-Grave done all that for us?) And that the men and women of England should visit those places, often.

The former has surely been accomplished (England also has the "blue plaque" project--markers placed on buildings of historical or biographical note); the latter--the visits? I'm not so sure.

Joyce and I have often traveled to the graves of American literary figures--Hawthorne, Melville, Hemingway, O'Connor, Faulkner, Ellison, Irving, Fitzgerald, Poe, and on and on. We sometimes see a few other people there--but usually no one else. I'm pretty sure, though, that many fans of those writers do make the pilgrimage ... but maybe not. Probably not.

I think I've been to the grave of one of my maternal great-grandfathers a couple of times (near Youngstown)--and a few other relatives, now and then. But not too often. I tell myself, They aren't there; they are here (indicating my mind, my heart).

True, but ...

Fame, influence, notoriety, infamy--most of it is evanescent. There are exceptions: Homer, Shakespeare, George Washington, Adolf Hitler. We could compile very similar lists, I'm sure. But even they will one day disappear. Assuming we don't destroy ourselves in the next thousand years, do you think we will still be reading Shakespeare? Two thousand years? Five? A hundred?

Probably not. Those notables will by then have become like the rest of us--leaves on Main Street. Lovely and evocative, maybe--but pretty much indistinguishable.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On a brighter note ...

So ... on a brighter note ... I made cornbread this morning. ('Tis the season, no?)  I don't use any fancy-schmanzy recipe--just the one from the old Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book that I inherited from my mother. Pretty basic stuff. (See recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Okay, I did pop in a little whole-wheat flour instead of all-white. Sue me.

It always takes longer to bake than the 12-15 minutes the (lying) recipe calls for--sometimes five minutes more. Pull it out of the oven too soon and you have some cornbread--and some cornmeal hot cereal.

But it's a quickie--about a half-hour from I think I'll make cornbread to That looks great--when can we cut it?

Minimal clean-up, too.

And a lingering aroma--all throughout the day.

My mom used to make this recipe during the holidays, though cornmeal was not otherwise a part of my boyhood diet--except for cornmeal pancakes that my maternal Osborn men would make (my grandfather, my uncle (Mom's brother)). Those were awesome and one of the great benefits of a visit to or from the Osborns. I've never really matched the quality of what they did, but maybe boyhood memory prefers perfection, and adult consciousness recognizes that pretty much everything is a little screwed up, you know?

During the November and December holidays, we ate chunks of cornbread, and Mom would often (always? can't be sure) make a cornbread stuffing for the turkey. We've been doing the same in recent years.

Taste and texture, of course, are freeways to the past. A single bite, and it's 1954 again. And I'm in Enid, Oklahoma; I'm just ten years old. And the cornbread--swabbed with butter (no more for me in these cholesterol-awareness days)--goes down easily--much more easily, say, than the green beans (or hated Lima beans) that lie, ignored, on my plate. I must confront them later, I know: Family Rule #327 (Clean Your Plate). But Later is not Now. And Now is for cornbread swabbed with butter, all to celebrate the holiday--and the endless life that lies ahead of me ...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Back to Seidman Cancer Center

Seidman Cancer Center
Beachwood, Ohio
Yesterday was my quarterly visit with my oncologist up at Seidman. Readers here know that I was diagnosed with prostate cancer late in 2004, had a prostatectomy (removal of the gland) in June 2005. When the cancer returned, I had a month of radiation treatments at Cleveland Clinic in January 2009. And when the cancer returned a few years ago--moving into my bones--I commenced hormone therapy, which slows but does not cure. I am now on two testosterone-suppressants (prostate cancer loves testosterone!): Lupron (quarterly injection) and Casodex (daily pill)--and I also get a monthly shot of Xgeva  for bone strength.

Yesterday, after talking with my oncologist I got a nice dessert: both injections: one in left triceps, one in left butt cheek! Ouch and Ouch!

I'll also be returning in about a month for a CAT scan and bone scan--to see the dimensions of the metastasis. ("And we'll have fun, fun, fun, till my daddy takes the T-bird away!" Thank you, Beach Boys!) (Link to song!)

But there was news a little darker--with perhaps some faint glimmer of light about it. My doctor thinks it's time to add another treatment. My PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen), stable for a few months, is moving upward again (indicating the cancer's increased activity), so I will soon undergo a process called "Sipuleucel-T" or "Provenge." It's immunotherapy.

What will happen in this: Three times (separated by a week's rest) I will go to the Red Cross in Akron and have the T-cells* in my blood withdrawn and then sent to Atlanta for renovation (they will be "programmed" to resist the specific cancer I have); a few days later, I will go to the main campus of University Hospitals (University Circle in Cleveland) and have them reintroduced through another infusion.

This will be a Tuesday-Friday cycle: Tuesday (Akron Red Cross), Friday (UH). Three times, each time with a week's rest intervening. Five weeks in all. (Here's a link that explains it more clearly than I just did!)

The literature on Provenge suggests I may live a bit longer because of these treatments (link to a site). Though let's not get too excited: It seems the average is only about four months longer. But my oncologist is hopeful, and you'd better believe I am! (Hopeful? Wishful? Is there a difference?)

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the health I do have, loving the time I do have. Family. Family. Family.

And Joyce--who was beside me every second yesterday, holding my hand, embodying my hope--how can I even imagine losing her ...

As the Bard says in one of my favorite sonnets, #64 (entire text below**):

This thought is as a death which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

*T-cell = a lymphocyte of a type produced or processed by the thymus gland and actively participating in the immune response.

**Sonnet 64

When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate,
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Few Wee Thngs ...

Okay, so wee goes back to Middle English--and even farther. Meant (and means) very small. (Had to look that one up!) (And, of course, there's that other meaning of wee (or wee-wee)--the one related to micturition!) (Merriam-Webster sniffs: "Not often in polite use.")

Anyway, there are just a few things today I want to mention--all too brief (wee!) for a full post, even considering my fondness for diverging into yellow woods--and woods of every other color, if the mood suits.

  • Today,  I was thinking about the word batten. It happened when I was running through (silently, silently) Tennyson's poem "The Kraken" this morning at the coffee shop. In that poem (see the whole thing pasted below), Tennyson mentions that the creature is "Battening upon huge sea worms in his sleep."
    • And then there's that expression batten down the hatches.
    • So ... here's what I found in (and copied from) Merriam-Webster ...
      • "The origin ... is believed to be the Old Norse verb batna, meaning "to improve." Batna is akin to Old Norse betr and Old English betera, from which we get the modern English word better. Batten entered the English language in the 1500s, with the meaning "to improve," and was especially used in the sense of improving or thriving by feeding. It is not related to the verb batten … found in expressions such as "batten down the hatches." This latter batten comes from the noun batten, which denotes, among other things, an iron bar used to secure the covering of a hatchway on a ship. This batten has Latinate rather than Germanic origins and can be traced back through Anglo-French batre to the Latin verb battuere ("to beat").
    • Batten, then, has two different histories: one meaning to eat or fatten; the other, to secure a ship's hatchway. There you go!
  • I had a wonderful 73rd birthday on Saturday. A flood of greetings from FB friends--a lovely (pizza) dinner with our son and his family at Hudson's 3 Palms (and an "after-party" at our house, with fireplace blazing). I am one lucky, lucky man.
  • I was thrilled yesterday (Sunday) that I actually paid attention while I was making our weekly bread and did not make the goof of last week (using oat instead of wheat flour as the principal flour). The pictures below certify the benefits of paying attention: Failure is rarely so evident as in baking!
Nov 6, 2017

Nov. 13, 2017
The Kraken

Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge sea worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.