Saturday, January 21, 2012
This priest's Web log I look in on now and then reminds me that today is the Feast of St. Agnes, pictured above. That means that last night was the Eve of St. Agnes.
Click on that link and there is a neat podcast where he reads the torrid, romantic poem by John Keats, "The Eve of St. Agnes," and gives you the background of the superstitions surrounding it.
My friends and I loved that poem in high school!
We decided to do what the girl in the poem, Madeline, did. We scoured the Keats poem for clues as to what this girl did ... we had to find white nightgowns, fast all day, put our shoes in a "T" and then you had to lie on the bed on your back, all kinds of stuff.
Here is a drawing one of my friends did of me trying to get it right.
My dad, being an English teacher, thought the whole thing was a kick when he found out what we were doing. But alas, it did not ultimately work out for any of us. We worried we were tripped up on technicalities. My sister came barging into my room with a flashlight. And my friend Kitty, her father came into her room looking for the paper. Anyway I do not remember any actual dreams of future husbands.
It kills me to remember high school. To remember what it was like to spend hours with your head in the clouds.
I loved "The Once and Future King," which I read when I was 16. I liked the knights-and-ladies songs by Franz Schubert. Schubert is kind of Keats' musical parallel. Both romantic young men who died terribly young. Both of them loved those swashbuckling medieval poems and stories and neither of them grew old enough to outgrow the phase. Schubert continues to be an obsession of mine. Leonard Pennario was also crazy about his music and we used to talk about that.
I loved the Schubert songs about Sir Walter Scott's "The Lady of the Lake."
That is Dame Janet Baker singing.
What the heck, let us listen to the next song.
And the third -- you know this song! The woman who puts together these videos did a beautiful job with this one. I am a big fan of her work. She and I have been in touch.
Look at me, frittering away my Saturday.
I guess my head is still in the clouds!