Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Recently I’m having problems getting motivated enough to write blog entries. I could blame that on the fact that I’m having trouble even accessing my page since my ISP has gone “wonky” the last week. I could even blame it on the fact that I spend much of my online time yesterday following Jonathon’s links to the Briggs-Meyers test.

I could blame it on the fact that I finally succumbed to MacWarehouse’s sixty-two dollar discount on OS 10.2 and I’ve spent some time fiddling with that. Or that I just bought Heroes IV and have had to spend some time relearning battle techniques.

If for no other reason, I could blame it on the third cold that I’ve picked up in the last two months.

I could even blame it on this hyper Australian shepherd that insists it’s time to throw him the Frisbee every time the sun happens to reappear in the rainy Northwest. And it’s sunnier than usual here. It appears that the South has gotten our share of snow. Even the ski areas here are barren.

Of course, I could also blame it on the fact that I’ve suddenly realized that Christmas is close and I still haven’t bought a single present or made a single cookie, and income tax classes have resumed and Leslie has suddenly decided that we need to remodel the house to be ready for the expected Christmas rush of friends and relatives.

In reality, though, it’s mostly that I’m stuck on “Conquistador” a one-hundred-page-long MacLeish poem. I’ve convinced myself that I would study every poem in his Collected Poems, and I’m not going to be defeated by a long poem (even though, unlike Jeff Ward, I hate long poems). Unfortunately, the poem also focuses on Mexican history, naturally considering the title, and that itself is presenting a major barrier as I know little or nothing about Mexican history. I consistently find it ironic that we Americans teach so little about “American” history, at least when considering the America’s geographically. I know far more about Roman history, and certainly more about European history, than I do about the history of our neighbors to the north and the south.

Amazingly, or perhaps not-so amazingly, the web is not helping me much in identifying people mentioned in the poem. I’ve gotten so that I rely on the web to identify names or places I don’t recognize, but so far my search has generally only turned up sites written in Spanish, and, no matter what anyone tells you, don’t rely on “automatic translation” to render anything at all meaningful.

I will finish the poem despite all the distractions and have it up shortly (not that I expect anyone else living to have ever read the poem or to be in the least interested). Still, this is my web site and I’m on my own mission of self-discovery, and, if nothing else, I suppose this says something important about my addictive personality (can’t ever get enough of that pain thing).

5 thoughts on “Excuses, Excuses, Excuses”

  1. A one hundred page poem?

    I am embarrassed admit that I’ve not spent much time with poetry. A combination of dropping out of school when I was 15, and not taking many English classes in college. Because of this, I appreciate the exposure to poetry I’m getting from your weblog. In particular, you help it come alive for me, and you also make me pay attention (there is something about the cadence of poetry that makes me less than alert to the subtle nuances contained in the words).

    So, I thank you.

    Now, having said that, I must also say without hesitation that I would never read a poem that lasts a hundred pages.

    Too INTL for me, more’s the pity.

    Now, throwing frisbees for the pup is more my style, as is walks in the snow.

    (Though I might change my mind and choose the poem over redecorating.)

  2. I’ll keep that in mind, Dorothea, if you promise not to let my daughter know since she’s a high school Spanish teacher.

  3. At least one strange soul is anxious to hear your thoughts on it. I haven’t read it, but I do have a copy. I glanced at it yesterday and realized I’d be driven to read Bernal Diaz’s Conquest of New Spain if I tackled it, and right now I’ve got too much on my list. MacLeish’s treatment of the subject did look interesting though.

  4. Be nice, Jeff, I already have more than enough to do, too. I bought the Complete Poems of Hart Crane after you discussed them and want to get to it, too, before I start back doing taxes for a living.

    I don’t have time to read Bernal Diaz’s book now, but I would if I were going to teach this poem. Luckily, I’m not teaching it.

    Unfortunately even when you’re semi-retired there’s only so much time in one day.

Comments are closed.