Friday, October 16, 2009

I Really Do Like the Stool Chart from Yesterday

Alexander PopeImage via Wikipedia

I was actually looking for a picture of a nice wooden stool to tart up my post -- Friends of the Blog are well aware that as my posts have grown shorter, less frequent and less substantive, I fall back on "art" the way the GOP falls back on paranoid conspiracy theories.

But Zemanta, which bit of software saves you the trouble of searching for the semi-appropriate picture, coughed it up. And when I saw it I thought of Alexander Pope's "Essay on Criticism," with its tribute to art which acknowledges the value of the familiar, centered and burnished but not obscured.

Some to Conceit alone their taste confine,
And glitt'ring thoughts struck out at every line;
Pleas'd with a work where nothing's just or fit,
One glaring chaos and wild heap of wit.
Poets, like painters, thus unskill'd to trace
The naked nature and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover every part,
And hide with ornaments their want of Art.
True Wit is Nature to advantage dress'd,
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd;
Something whose truth convinced at sight we find,
That give us back the image of our mind.
As shades more sweetly recommend the light,
So modest plainness sets of sprightly wit:
For works may have more wit than does them good,
As bodies perish thro' excess of blood.

Don't tell me you didn't think the same -- if we sub "often thought about" for "often thought."

But back to my point. In this weird shameless confessional, there are still some things with which we have the most urgent personal concerns but keep private. Yesterday in this blog: one less.

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