Skeletons Holding Hands; Philip Larkin Would be Pleased

"Archaeologists with the University of Leicester uncovered remains of two skeletons holding hands believed to have been resting that way for at least 700 years." More on this bit of loveliness here.

I’m sharing this because I’ve embarked on a slightly odd personal project, to memorize one long poem a week (long story short: I’m getting older and I worry about Alzheimer’s). My favorite so far is a wonderfully delicate piece by the least delicate of poets, touching exactly this curiously tender pair of skeletons. Enjoy!

Philip Larkin - An Arundel Tomb

Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits faintly shown
As jointed armor, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd-
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the near-baroque
Hardly involves the eye; until 
It meets the left-hand gauntlet; still
Clasped empty in the other, and 
One sees, wIth a sharp, tender shock
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends could see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted. linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass; a bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identities.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age; a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Their almost instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

bbook
bbook:

As a parent there’s a time when you have to start to make an effort to get to know your kids as separate human beings, and they have to look at you differently and not just as a parent. That’s a very worthwhile challenge because I’m sure when you’re around your parents you’re not exactly the way you are around your friends, and no matter how cool you are, you’re still the mom. Also I’m traveling a lot more and going to festivals and doing the things I really wanted to do when I was home. So my kids are like, what’s up with you and I tell them that this is actually who I was before I had you—so who are you? Let’s start from there.
Susan Sarandon on ‘The Last of Robin Hood,’ Toxic Relationships, and Discovering ‘The Bachelor’

This article may be amazing but who the hell can look past that photo.

bbook:

As a parent there’s a time when you have to start to make an effort to get to know your kids as separate human beings, and they have to look at you differently and not just as a parent. That’s a very worthwhile challenge because I’m sure when you’re around your parents you’re not exactly the way you are around your friends, and no matter how cool you are, you’re still the mom. Also I’m traveling a lot more and going to festivals and doing the things I really wanted to do when I was home. So my kids are like, what’s up with you and I tell them that this is actually who I was before I had you—so who are you? Let’s start from there.

Susan Sarandon on ‘The Last of Robin Hood,’ Toxic Relationships, and Discovering ‘The Bachelor’

This article may be amazing but who the hell can look past that photo.

indeedascholar

galesofnovember:

liketheghost:

so is it a thing in (american) english to use “texas” as a word for like, something that’s out of control or chaotic, or as like, “crazy”? like “that party last weekend was totally texas!” 

because that is a thing people say in norwegian and i just think it’s important for americans to know that? 

this is the best thing I’ve ever heard

I’ve never been prouder to be a Texan.