Friday, April 25, 2008

Pretentious poetry chatter

As a member of Etsybloggers, I am supposed to take part in the weekly Blog Carnival. I’ve decided finally to fulfill my obligation. The first topic is poetry, thus my essay. I hope you enjoy.

I’ve had a longtime love affair with poetry, and that has only grown since I started studying Italian. I love the way words flow together and create a picture in your mind, and there is no language with more beautiful words than Italian. My favorite Italian poet is Eugenio Montale, who wrote during the rise of fascism and continued creating until his death in 1981. His works were undeniably beautiful, modern, and quietly subversive. My favorite poem of his is called “Riviere,” or “Seacoasts,” from Ossi di seppia, his first collection published in 1925. Though the title is much less romantic when translated, it is a beautiful poem in any language. It’s a long piece, so here’s an excerpt in Italian.

Dolce cattività, oggi, riviere
di chi s'arrende per poco
come a rivivere un antico giuoco
non mai dimenticato.
Rammento l'acre filtro che porgeste
allo smarrito adolescente, o rive:
nelle chiare mattine si fondevanodorsi
di colli e cielo; sulla rena
dei lidi era un risucchio ampio, un eguale
fremer di vite,
una febbre del mondo; ed ogni cosa
in se stessa pareva consumarsi.

I can’t find a translation online, so I’m venturing one myself. It’s nearly literal, so some of the flow is lost here.

Sweet captivity, today, seacoasts
From whom one surrenders almost
Like reliving an ancient game
Never forgotten.
I recall the acrid potion that they offered
To the lost adolescent, or the shores:
In the clear mornings they would melt
The back of their necks and the sky; on the sand
Of the beaches was a vast sucking, an equal
Shaking of lives,
A fever of the world; and everything
In itself seemed to wear out.

My translation isn’t the best, but you get the gist. The whole poem is about childhood and memory, as is much of the collection. This one relies on the imagery of the violently beautiful shoreline as a metaphor for the author being pulled back into nostalgia. Montale grew up in Liguria, a beautiful region of Italy on the coast of the Mediterranean, so these “riviere” are part of his childhood. Just as the coasts called to him as a boy, so does his past continue to draw him in. Though the overall tone of the poem is somber, it ends on a high note:

sentire noi pur
domani tra i profumi e i venti
un riaffluir di sogni, un urger folle
di voci verso un esito; e nel sole
che v'investe, riviere,

Though for us to feel
Tomorrow between the fragrances and the winds
A new flooding of dreams, a crazy urgency
Of faltering cries; and in the sun
That attacks there, seacoasts,
A refluorishing!

Montale spends the majority of the poem likening nostalgia to “due camelie pallide nei giardini deserti”, or two pale camellias in desert gardens. At the end, however, he gives in to the beauty of memory, the innocent joy of childhood. I agree with his reluctance to give in too much to living in the past, but I appreciate his ability to recognize that memories can be both beautiful and brutal, like the coastlines of his childhood.

Product review

My new camera arrived, and I think it's going to work out great! I'll be able to download pictures this weekend, but in the meantime, I wanted to give you all something to read. So behold, my review of Soy Candle Cottage, a company out of Edmond, OK.

I got my first candle from Soy Candle Cottage a year ago, when my mother attended the Herbal Affair in Sand Springs, OK. It's hyacinth-scented, which happens to be one of my favorite fragrances. The candle is one of the best I've ever had. The smell is dead-on and beautiful without being overly sweet or strong. Being a high-quality soy candle, it burned a very long time, keeping us with some light during last December's ice storm. This year, my boyfriend and I attended the festival just long enough to make a stop by the booth. We purchased two candles -- caramel and mango mandarin. We have not burned either yet, but unlit, both have a wonderful aroma without being too sweet or overpowering.

The best purchase I've yet made, however, was the company's soy lotion. I purchased a purse-sized bottle in rose, and it is a truly amazing product. The smell is wonderful and unbelievably long-lasting. Plus, it makes my skin so soft and moisturized for hours. It's the best hand lotion I've ever used, no question. I can't wait to try the body cream. A variety of scents are available, and you can't go wrong with any of them.

Soy Candle Cottage makes a variety of other products, including soaps, pet treats, and items for babies and breastfeeding moms. Everything is made from high-quality ingredients that are both environmentally friendly and -- as far as I can tell -- suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The stuff is worth trying out, so head over to the Web site and shop away!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do you know what this means?

My new camera is waiting for me at home! Look out for store updates and pictures of absolutely everything I can get my hands on very, very soon. I can't tell you how excited I am!!!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bad mother

So I'm a bad blog mother. In my defense, things got crazy there for a while. Here's the recap:

In early March, everyone in my department received notice that our section would no longer be published, so we were all let go as of that day. It was shocking and totally out of the blue, so I had a rough transition out of my day job. The news came the day before my one-year anniversary at the job, too. LAME. I spent two weeks unemployed, and that just happened to coincide with me and my boyfriend moving into a new apartment -- which also cost more than our old place. I did manage to find a new job, one that even pays better, and started that on St. Patrick's Day. In the meantime, my digital camera died, which is why I haven't added anything new to my Etsy store in a long time. I ordered a new one last week, though, so I should be in possession of it shortly. Woo hoo! So I will be a regular blogger again, I promise. The only road block at this point is that our new, lovely apartment has a major plumbing problem (YAY! :P), so we're temporarily displaced. The temp home has no Internet access, meaning I can only post from work, and only then when I have time. I will get back on the ball soon, though.

In other news, I registered my own domain name a couple of weeks ago, but there's nothing there yet. I have no idea how to set up and run a Web site! I plan to get to work on it soon. I'll post a link when there's actually something to see.

At the end of March, I shared a booth with The Storybeader at the Cleveland County Spring Creative Craft Fair, which wasn't a big seller for me. I do have one picture of my set up, though, which is being totally revamped. You can see it here, courtesy of ClaudiasBurningInk. I'm going to abandon much of what I generally use to display jewelry as I've recently purchased a necklace and earring display. I also bought a little suitcase that I'm going to make look like a neat-o display, a canopy, and some new fabric to drape over part of my table cloth. I'm looking forward to how it will turn out.

So that's what I've been up to. Sorry for my absense. Tomorrow, I'll post a list of upcoming festivals and shows I plan to take part in. Thanks for sticking with me!


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Tulsa, OK, United States
Hello! Welcome to my blog, which I run in conjunction with my Etsy shop, Here, I'll track things I'm working on, do reviews and interviews, and offer advice and information. Thanks for stopping by!

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