Archives - May 2011


May. 27

Translated by Mark Twain


The Diaries of Adam and Eve

In this little gem of a novella, Twain introduces an Adam with many of his own characteristics, such as laziness.  His Eve is based on his wife Livy, whom he lost the year before publication.  Eve is young and adventurous and curious about the world around her.  At first Adam ignores her and stays as far away as possible:


This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way.  It is always hanging around and following me about.  I don't like this; I am not used to company.  I wish  it would stay with the other animals ...


Eve, on the other hand, is instantly intrigued with Adam:


I was afraid of it at first and started to run every time it turned around, for I thought it was going to chase me.  But by and ...

May. 20



Spring Love

Oh, spring is in the air.  Love floats close behind.  The high school campus is run amok with sloe-eyed teenage girls and twitterpated (my nod to Thumper) boys.  Truman Capote once said, "Love, having no geography, knows no boundaries."

Maybe it's just the cynic of me, but I am reminded of Dorothy Parker's poem "Fulfilment":


For this my mother wrapped me warm,

And called me home against the storm,

And coaxed my infant nights to quiet,

And gave me roughage in my diet,

And tucked me in my bed at eight,

And clipped my hair, and marked my weight,

And watched me as I sat and stood:

That I might grow to womanhood

To hear a whistle and drop my wits

And break my heart to clattering bits.


Nothing like a little wisdom from Dorothy to set the world in its proper place ...

May. 10

Tim Hetherington


In Memoriam

Last month I watched a documentary about the war in Afghanistan titled Restrepo.  It was made by writer Sebastian Junger and photojournalist Tim Hetherington.  Some of the footage is captivating -- young men, some cocky, some terrified, fighting battles in a lonely valley in a tragic country.  Both Junger and Hetherinton spent months at the Restrepo outpost with these young men, enduring the same hardships and facing the same fears.

Last month Tim Hetherington was on assignment in Misrata, Libya, covering the uprising there.  He was hit by shrapnel and bled to death.  His friend Sebastian Junger wrote a piece for Vanity Fair about his lost friend.  It is written in second-person, directly to Tim, a beautiful elegy.  In a haunting extended metaphor, he describes risk as a beautiful woman:

You and I were always talking about risk because she was the beautiful woman ...

May. 5

and she loved a little boy.


Once there was a tree ...

       This is the familiar opening line to a children's classic:  The Giving Tree.  I lost count of how many times I read this book to my two sons Corey and Cody when they were growing up.  They never tired of it, and neither did I.  And no matter how often it was read, I always choked up after the tree has given everything she has to the boy: her shade, her leaves, her fruit, her branches, her trunk -- but she is still happy because, as an old man, the once young boy wants to sit and rest on her stump.  The final line says it all:  "And the tree was happy."

       When Corey was in high school, I gave him a copy of The Giving Tree translated in Latin.  The opening line is just as poignant:  Erat quondam arbor ...

Listening to the whispering pines

Hello. My name is Donna Cozart Pauley. Welcome to The Whispering Pines, a literary blog dedicated to my love of the written word. It is an eclectic collage of my life -- from my poems to my stories to my family to my pets to my causes to my photographs to my recipes to my love of teaching to my favorite literature. Please feel free to comment. Words are only important if they are heard or read. Just like those soundless trees falling in the forest.

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