Saturday, October 25, 2008

Autumnally turned

A couple of days ago I wrote an entry in response to a tag. And then there was some malfunction with the blog, and it completely disappeared. I don't feel inclined to recreate it. Instead, I'm offering a poem, because I'm currently undergoing a Rilke revival. Back when I was doing the MFA, Rilke was all the rage. So I bought books of Rilke, and, while I liked them well enough, they seemed heavy and sometimes hard to understand. Now I think I just wasn't ready for Rilke when I was 23. In fact, I ended up selling some of the books, but I kept two: Letters to a Young Poet, a book of prose that has one of my favorite lines in the world, the admonishment to "live the questions," and also a selection of poems edited by Stephen Mitchell. I've been dipping into the poems here and there lately, and finding them all wonderful. Here's one I read today, entitled, appropriate for the season, "Autumn Day":

Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander on the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

I love the way the poem moves from a pastoral scene, with the wind on the meadows, and then moves to the flaneur, wandering, restless, among fallen leaves.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Technology is not one

JBJ over at The Salt Box offers a nice little reminder that no one technology is "the" answer. Rather, they're all tools, yeah? Technologies of possibility. Technes. Rhetorical. An excerpt:

Anyway, all of this is to say that if you give me a goal, I can tell you why I prefer one form to another. I prefer wikis to blogs for my class notes assignment, for instance, because that assignment focuses on the public, shared work of the class. The collaborative nature of wikis is good for that. In cases where I want students to develop, over the course of a period of time (a month, a semester), a perspective on a topic, or when I want them to roleplay in an interpretative game–well, a blog sounds better for those tasks, since it’s probably going to be organized chronologically. But I cannot tell you, abstractly, why one tool is always better than another.

Now that Bloglines decided the other day that it was time to clean out my feeds, I'm keeping up a little better with my subscriptions. So now maybe that will feed (yes, riffing off yellow dog) my blogging again. Goal: blog more frequently. Tool: RSS feeds.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

There *is* joy in Blogville

for the mighty Bérubé has come back.

(Now I have to remember how to do the accent thing again. I had become habituated to it just before he retired the blog back in 2007.)

And, yes, I'm several days beyond the scoop. He resumed last Tuesday, announcing:

My friends, I suspended my blog retirement so that I could see us through this crisis.

Ah, yes. Thank goodness. It makes me think that maybe I too can suspend my default retirement.