Time’s wingèd chariot

My vegetable love should grow

Vaster than empires and more slow;

An hundred years should go to praise

Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;

Two hundred to adore each breast,

But thirty thousand to the rest;

An age at least to every part,

And the last age should show your heart.

For, lady, you deserve this state,

Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear

Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder all before us lie

Deserts of vast eternity.

~ To His Coy Mistress ~ Andrew Marvell 1681

sunlight & curtains

“It’s curtains for you Mug!!” When someone is threatened with death in the old gangster/hardboiled detective movies & stories, it was always curtains. This term derived from theatre, when the last bit of stage direction was curtain – indicating the end of the show/play, and dropping the curtain.

“It’s curtains for you” is a metaphor.  The final ‘Curtain’ is drawn across the stage at the conclusion of the person’s life.  The expression ‘it is curtains for you’ simply means you are finished, your escapade is over, the game is up, you have been discovered, you are about to receive your punishment, you have arrived at the conclusion of your wrongdoing, the time is up for you. The hardboiled characters used this as a threat of imminent death. So well-worn was this expression of existential threat that it became a cliché and used in parody. Even Bugs Bunny  menaced those gangsters when the jigs was up.

 

 

 

 

abstract winter 3

The rutted roads are all like iron; skies
Are keen and brilliant; only the oak-leaves cling
In the bare woods, or the hardy bitter-sweet;
Drivers have put their sheepskin jackets on;
And all the ponds are sealed with sheeted ice
That rings with stroke of skate and hockey-stick,
Or in the twilight cracks with running whoop.
Bring in the logs of oak and hickory,c
And make an ample blaze on the wide hearth.
Now is the time, with winter o’er the world,
For books and friends and yellow candle-light,
And timeless lingering by the settling fire.
While all the shuddering stars are keen with cold.

The Winter Scene Carman, Bliss (1861 – 1929)

Original Text: Bliss Carman, Sanctuary: Sunshine House Sonnets (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1929)

chimney tilt

‘This is the boy, your worship,’ said Mr. Bumble.

The old gentleman who was reading the newspaper raised his head for a moment, and pulled the other old gentleman by the sleeve; whereupon, the last-mentioned old gentleman woke up.

‘Oh, is this the boy?’ said the old gentleman.

‘This is him, sir,’ replied Mr. Bumble. ‘Bow to the magistrate, my dear.’

Oliver roused himself, and made his best obeisance. He had been wondering, with his eyes fixed on the magistrates’ powder, whether all boards were born with that white stuff on their heads, and were boards from thenceforth on that account.

‘Well,’ said the old gentleman, ‘I suppose he’s fond of chimney-sweeping?’

‘He doats on it, your worship,’ replied Bumble; giving Oliver a sly pinch, to intimate that he had better not say he didn’t.

‘And he WILL be a sweep, will he?’ inquired the old gentleman.

‘If we was to bind him to any other trade to-morrow, he’d run away simultaneous, your worship,’ replied Bumble.

‘And this man that’s to be his master–you, sir–you’ll treat him well, and feed him, and do all that sort of thing, will you?’ said the old gentleman.

‘When I says I will, I means I will,’ replied Mr. Gamfield doggedly.

‘You’re a rough speaker, my friend, but you look an honest, open-hearted man,’ said the old gentleman: turning his spectacles in the direction of the candidate for Oliver’s premium, whose villainous countenance was a regular stamped receipt for cruelty. But the magistrate was half blind and half childish, so he couldn’t reasonably be expected to discern what other people did.

‘I hope I am, sir,’ said Mr. Gamfield, with an ugly leer.

Oliver Twist (Chpt3)  1837 Charles Dickens

monochrome confusion

 

Haven’t you heard of the two hundred counties-

East of the mountains in Han

Where the thorns of the briars have over~grown

the ten thousand hamlets and towns?

 

Even where a sturdy wife could ply

with the hoe and plough-

The grain lies over patchwork fields-

the borders overgrown.

trans of Tang Poetry by Du Fu (712-770)