Danse Russe

If I when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,—
if I in my north room
dance naked,
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
“I am lonely, lonely.
I was born to be lonely, I am best so!”
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,—
Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

Nothing is Stranger, More Delicate…

Years ago, I found this excerpt about the delicate relationship between strangers plastered onto a table in a little coffee shop in Boston. It was such a present to find first thing in the morning! The words have stayed with me ever since.

Nothing is stranger, more delicate, than the relationship between people who know each other only by sight – who encounter and observe each other daily, even hourly, and yet are compelled by the constraint of convention or by their own temperament to keep up the pretense of being indifferent to strangers, neither greeting nor speaking to each other. Between them is uneasiness and overstimulated curiosity, the nervous excitement of an unsatisfied, unnaturally suppressed need to know and to communicate; and above all, too, a kind of strained respect. For man loves and respects his fellow man for as long as he is not yet in a position to evaluate him, and desire is born of defective knowledge.


Barry Lyndon

Scorsese cites this as his favorite Kubrick films, and it’s hard not to agree with him. Kubrick creates this film with such a painterly eye! One of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen.

Also, Handel’s Sarabande is so well-used here. I so wish I could hear this piece performed in a giant cathedral, or in some other hallowed place.