Wednesday, August 10, 2005

ETC: Of Wordsworth and Dolphins

So we're getting ready to go out today, and I'm in the shower thinking about how little reading I'm doing these days, and I remembered Wordsworth's "The Tables Turned":
Up! up! my friend, and quit your books,
Or surely you'll grow double.
Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble. . . .

Books! 'tis a dull and endless trifle:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it. . . .

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Misshapes the beauteous forms of things--
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art,
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.
Well, actually, I only remembered "Up! up! my friend, and quit your books." I had to look up the rest. But I was feeling pretty pleased with myself for coming up with an excuse -- in rhyme, no less! -- for my laziness. And then I remembered that I don't like Wordsworth, so am I still entitled to tout him when I'm in the midst of a merry bout of self-justification?

There! Did you catch that?

That was the exact moment I realized what a pretentious git I am.

I'm so pretentious I'm not even embarrassed to use the expression "pretentious git". Next thing you know, I'm going to be saying stuff like "shite" and referring to Hunter S. Thompson as "Dr. Thompson". THAT'S how pretentious I am.

Okay, not quite. But still. Wordsworth. Keee-rist.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with pretentious people, per se. I'm down with the poseurs, trust me. I just wish I were smart enough to be one and pull it off. Do you know hard it is to be both pretentious AND dumb?

Enough of this. I'm off to the Aquarium. They've got a new dolphin!


Anonymous said...

"The Tables Turned" is a reply to his own "Expostulation and Reply", isn't it?

Anonymous said...

The Vancouver Aquarium is my fav.o.rite.

Whenever I was little and we used to travel there, my brother and I would always beg to go to the aquarium until my mom relented.

And when my dad took me on a motorcycle trip to Vancouver my junior year of high school I made him go back with me.

I half expected it to be lame because it was so cool as a kid, but it was even cooler than I remembered it.

Unfortunately, after telling everyone how cool the Vancouver Aquarium was, I was devastated to find out that I'd never actually been there, and that I'd instead been to Victoria's Pacific Undersea Gardens on Vancouver Island.

I'm sure it's kickingly awesome, though.

golfwidow said...

I love my dumb pretentiousness. Or my pretentious dumbness.

(I call Isaac Asimov Dr. Asimov, though.)