Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun


Alan Tate's "Ode to the Confederate Dead"

The Gray and the gray. "Confederate veteran reunion, Washington, 1917"

Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.

Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have come and gone!--
Ambitious November with the humors of the year,
With a particular zeal for every slab,
Staining the uncomfortable angels that rot
On the slabs, a wing chipped here, an arm there:
The brute curiosity of an angel's stare
Turns you, like them, to stone,
Transforms the heaving air
Till plunged to a heavier world below
You shift your sea-space blindly
Heaving, turning like the blind crab.

         Dazed by the wind, only the wind
         The leaves flying, plunge

You know who have waited by the wall
The twilight certainty of an animal,
Those midnight restitutions of the blood
You know--the immitigable pines, the smoky frieze
Of the sky, the sudden call: you know the rage,
The cold pool left by the mounting flood,
Of muted Zeno and Parmenides.
You who have waited for the angry resolution
Of those desires that should be yours tomorrow,
You know the unimportant shrift of death
And praise the vision
And praise the arrogant circumstance
Of those who fall
Rank upon rank, hurried beyond decision--
Here by the sagging gate, stopped by the wall.

         Seeing, seeing only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

Turn your eyes to the immoderate past,
Turn to the inscrutable infantry rising
Demons out of the earth they will not last.
Stonewall, Stonewall, and the sunken fields of hemp,
Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run.
Lost in that orient of the thick and fast
You will curse the setting sun.

         Cursing only the leaves crying
         Like an old man in a storm

You hear the shout, the crazy hemlocks point
With troubled fingers to the silence which
Smothers you, a mummy, in time.

         The hound bitch
Toothless and dying, in a musty cellar
Hears the wind only.

         Now that the salt of their blood
Stiffens the saltier oblivion of the sea,
Seals the malignant purity of the flood,
What shall we who count our days and bow
Our heads with a commemorial woe
In the ribboned coats of grim felicity,
What shall we say of the bones, unclean,
Whose verdurous anonymity will grow?
The ragged arms, the ragged heads and eyes
Lost in these acres of the insane green?
The gray lean spiders come, they come and go;
In a tangle of willows without light
The singular screech-owl's tight
Invisible lyric seeds the mind
With the furious murmur of their chivalry.

         We shall say only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

We shall say only the leaves whispering
In the improbable mist of nightfall
That flies on multiple wing:
Night is the beginning and the end
And in between the ends of distraction
Waits mute speculation, the patient curse
That stones the eyes, or like the jaguar leaps
For his own image in a jungle pool, his victim.

What shall we say who have knowledge
Carried to the heart? Shall we take the act
To the grave? Shall we, more hopeful, set up the grave
In the house? The ravenous grave?

         Leave now
The shut gate and the decomposing wall:
The gentle serpent, green in the mulberry bush,
Riots with his tongue through the hush--
Sentinel of the grave who counts us all!

Posted by Vanderleun at May 27, 2016 4:06 AM |  Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
SUMO Sized Celebrity Tombstones





Annie Leibovitz SUMO-Sized TASCHEN Book:

The latest addition to its SUMO volumes, TASCHEN presents a limited edition book of photographs by famed portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. Over two and a half feet tall and weighing 57 pounds, the enormous book comes with its own Marc Newson-designed stand. Leibovitz drew from over 40 years of work, starting with the reportage she created for Rolling Stone in the 1970s and extending through the stylized portraiture of her work for Vanity Fair and Vogue. A supplementary book contains essays by Leibovitz, Graydon Carter, Paul Roth, and Hans Ulrich Obrist and short texts describing the subjects of each of the over 250 photographs. Limited to a total of 10,000 signed and numbered copies, this book is now available online for $2,500 USD.
The Collector’s Edition is available in four different dustjackets:
Whoopi Goldberg, Berkeley, California, 1984
Keith Haring, New York City, 1986
David Byrne, Los Angeles, 1986
Patti Smith, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1978


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 15, 2014 7:34 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: 10 Passing Shots by Roger Federer

HT to Paleo Retiree who notes: I don’t know how Federer dreams up these shots, let alone executes them. Me neither. I only know that in this game there never has been anyone, but anyone, quite like him.

After the jump because bigger is better.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 3, 2013 12:36 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Godlike Beauty of the Early Stars: Gary Cooper, 1928


True, they are not at rest yet,
but now they are indeed
apart, winnowed from failures,
they withdraw to an orbit
and turn with disinterested
hard energy, like the stars.

-- My Sad Captains by Thom Gunn

Nobody, but nobody, looks this good anymore.

"Gary Cooper played a man in love who turned pirate – for Fay Wray. “The First Kiss” was a silent film released in 1928, there is no extant footage, many early prints of this era on nitrate went the way of dust and flame."


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 8, 2013 2:39 PM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Here Now, A Superb Short and Bittersweet Film about Baseball Legend Pete Rose

"If you want to put something on my tombstone that was very important to me: it’s 1,972. That’s how many winning games I’ve played in, so that makes me the biggest winner in the history of sports."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 22, 2012 7:52 PM |  Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Golden Spiders' Invisibility Cloak


O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!

-- The Tempest

As is my cynical wont I first tended to scoff at this project. But then, as the amazing level of obsession matched with beauty started to reveal itself I became fascinated. "O brave new world that has such people in it," indeed.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 24, 2012 11:23 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
An Icon of the Times: The Garden of Earthly Delights Without the Party in the Middle
Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 15, 2011 10:34 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Expanding My Churchill Collection

In one of my previous lives as an editor and publisher, I caused this elegant edition of Winston Churchill's The Second World War (Six Volume Boxed Set) to be published.


Every so often Houghton Mifflin refreshes the jacket and box art, but my central concept remains the same: "Stack 'em, box 'em, and make 'em buy them all at once." When I first suggested this format, the sales department opposed it saying it would be "too expensive" on the one hand, and "cut into the declining sales of the separate hard cover volumes" on the other. Such is the genius of sales departments at book publishers. In the end I prevailed and this edition now seems to be a perennial. Amazon sells it for $75 a pop which isn't bad when you consider it's around $12.50 a volume with a spiffy box to keep them in -- and that the hard cover set goes for $416 new (If you can find it) and around $280 used.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 8, 2010 11:30 AM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Paid Advertisement
Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 14, 2010 7:03 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Today, the brilliant Richard Fernandez, speaks for me:
Sometimes I think the only function that a blogger can perform is to become a chronicler of the descent into insanity. The issues are no longer Right versus Left; Conservative versus Liberal. To some extent it is a battle between sanity and Looney Tunes. The word €œchronicler€ is apt because like one of those narrators of Gothic tales, the diarist is aware of a certain inevitability. The bell will ring from the sepulcher; the door will creak open revealing some sending from the night; and the Raven will speak at appointed time. It is all consistent, but only in a nightmare.


The best thing to do is keep on trucking. Get some Turkish bread and cover it with some chopped bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and cheese and stick it under the grill. In the meantime chop some tomatoes and sautee it in peanut oil, then mix in a beaten egg to make an omelet. When both are ready, drag out some chilled red from the refrigerator and have dinner. Beats breathing sulfur. -- Belmont Club » 2012

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 9, 2009 11:28 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Let None Falter Who Thinks He is Right

Earliest known (although disputed) photograph of Lincoln. Taken 1840-41

Lincoln, Speaking in Springfield 170 years ago, December 20, 1839.

Many free countries have lost their liberty, and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her.

I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing; while on its bosom are riding, like demons on the waves of hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare resist its destroying course with the hopelessness of their effort; and, knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away. Broken by it I, too, may be; bow to it I never will.

The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me. If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its almighty Architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country deserted by all the world beside, and I standing up boldly and alone, and hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors.

Here, without contemplating consequences, before high heaven and in the face of the world, I swear eternal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land of my life, my liberty, and my love.

And who that thinks with me will not fearlessly adopt the oath that I take?

Let none falter who thinks he is right, and we may succeed. But if, after all, we shall fail, be it so. We still shall have the proud consolation of saying to our consciences, and to the departed shade of our country's freedom, that the cause approved of our judgment, and adored of our hearts, in disaster, in chains, in torture, in death, we never faltered in defending. -- From The Entire Writings of Lincoln by Abraham Lincoln

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 12, 2009 1:32 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
David Warren's selection for "Man of the Year 2008" is: Sarah Palin. Mine Too.


Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 28, 2008 11:43 AM |  Comments (26)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas


Just the thing for trimming the tree. And disposing of it afterwards. Ornamentgranate - Deko-Objekte - DaWanda

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 18, 2008 3:45 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Burning of the Bull: An Emblem for the Year of Our Lord, 2008

A bull sarcophagus in which a member of the Ubud royal family was cremated burns during the funeral ceremony Tuesday July 15, 2008 in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. - 2008 in photographs (part 2 of 3) @ The Big Picture

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 18, 2008 3:26 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Levon Helm: Often Imitated. Never Duplicated.

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 2, 2008 1:23 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
All Things Must Pass


A long, long time ago
On graduation day
You handed me your book
I signed this way:

"Roses are red, my love.
Violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet, my love.
But not as sweet as you."

Bobby Vinton

World's first blue roses after 20 years of research

The blooms are genetically modified and have been implanted with a gene that simulates the synthesis of blue pigment in pansies.... The world's first genetically modified blue roses were created in the laboratory four years ago, although further research was required to make them safe to grow in nature.
I'm never fond of reading the phrase, "to make them safe to grow in nature." I always wonder what happens if there is a slip-up. But then I'm so old-fashioned in this regard. Rampant genetic modification? What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 2, 2008 9:37 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Prediction: The most terrifying thing about this Seattle Halloween will be...

... the gigantic teeming horde of men dressed as Sarah Palin. Many will have beards.

Palin the champion at Seattle costume store "It's more about hair spray. Get a wig and fluff it up."
And then... there's THIS. My eyes! Arggggh, my eyes!

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 31, 2008 11:53 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
BMW or Bigassed Prius? We report. You Decide

Style ....

.... or stupidity?

You can choose which model to sink your money into. Will you choose the one that makes the most sense in terms of fuel efficiency, or the one that lets the world know what a really good person you are?

On their trip from London to Geneva (plus 100 urban miles), the BMW pictured above played music and ran air-conditioning while the Prius driver turned off both as he tried to drive very carefully. Nevertheless, the BMW consumed 4.7 liters per 100 km (41.9 mpg) while the Prius has burned 4.9 liters per 100 km in average (40.1 mpg). Subtle BMW gadgets to save fuel seem to be more important than the hybrid core of the Prius as well as its 500 missing pounds. -

BMW 520d: more efficient than Toyota Prius
Choose carefully because you have to remember that, deep down, most people know that:


Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 28, 2008 12:14 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How to Make a Real Man's Magazine Cover

The John Edwards Esquire Cover:
Getting That "Come Hither" Look
to Sell Your "Book."

As some of my readers and all of my detractors know I spent many years as an editor for Penthouse Magazine. I worked for it when it sold in the millions and I worked for it when it sold, as it does today, in the hundreds of thousands. You might have your fantasies about what it was like to work for the magazine and while most are false, some are true. But those stories are for another time. Today's tale is about how professional men's magazine editors work up the magazine's most important page, the cover.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 22, 2007 9:02 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Consulting the Oracle

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 22, 2005 7:19 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Tom Cruise Kills Oprah: The Movie

FROM WAXY: A movie with a long, but well worth it, download time.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 21, 2005 5:59 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 17, 2005 7:15 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 14, 2005 7:55 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink


Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 14, 2005 7:51 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 14, 2005 7:47 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bipartisan Candidate for Oh-Eight

AT LAST, somebody that has something for everyone.

A people,
can never be

Pssst.... Just seeing it sorta gives ya chills all over, don't it?

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 8, 2005 7:59 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
We Shall Know Our Long Racial Nightmare is Over When....


Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 6, 2005 12:59 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
You'd Think Billionaire Brothers-In-Arms Would Be Able to Get Their Shared Hairdresser to Do Something...

... but you'd be wrong.


[Hint via The Corner on National Review Online]

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 3, 2005 11:54 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Good News Is You Won an Oscar for Best Picture, the Bad News is That to Get It....

clintleft.jpg  clintright.jpg

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 28, 2005 7:45 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
People in the Google World are known for....

The Prejudice Map

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 11, 2005 7:07 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When Bad Things Happen to Dictators' Ferraris

"Daddy, does this mean we can't play any more?"

Well, not even pschopathic criminals like Uday Hussain can expect the best in valet parking once they're dead.

I just need someone to host them for me. I have 7 pics of Uday's Ferrari including a close up of the VIN

I just took them last week, at one of his former palaces

One of the guys here thought it was a corvette, but from a distance I said no it's not,.. it has over-head cams, then closer inspection revealed ir was a V-12, DEF' NOT a corvette. -- The Car Lounge Forums: FROM IRAQ Digi Pics of Uday's Ferrari! FROM IRAQ

Pointer from the amazing growabrain

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 8, 2005 12:55 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
It Would Have Been Okay If It Was Ken

[Click to enlarge]
"This was just an innocent oversight," says Lauren Bruksch, a spokeswoman for Mattel.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 6, 2005 12:11 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The American Digest Dysfunctional Christmas Gift Tags

HERE'S FOUR OF THE MOST DYSFUNCTIONAL GIFT TAGS of our 2005 edition. There's something here for everyone on your list! Use them to tag your gift to your family and friends that are still Democrats or otherwise afflicted with BDS. It will help to lift the fog from their minds. Now that would be the gift that keeps on giving. We're not saying it will make them into (shudder) Republicans overnight, but it would put a little "in" at the front of their dependency.

All gift tags are proportionally sized to fit on those business card forms you can get for use with a laser printer. You'll have to fool around with the Print Percentage (%) to tweak them into your printer.

To use them you have TWO options:

1) Click on the image and then save the image to your drive. (No, there will not be a tutorial on this. What am I, a talking Paper Clip?)

2) Click on the link called "Download All Images" at the end of this item for a 221K PDF file suitable for printing or framing.



Hint: The little black circle is where you punch the hole and insert the string to make it a gift tag.


Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 21, 2004 10:49 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
He Shuffles the Shuffle

WHAT'S ON BUSH'S IPOD? He tells you right here.

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 17, 2004 1:11 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Summer Wind

Click to Enlarge

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 13, 2004 4:34 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dennis the Google Doodler

Transit of Venus

DENNIS HWANG HAS DECLOAKED HIMSELF as the artist in virtual residence on the hompage of Google: Oodles of Doodles:

My name is Dennis, and I'm the guy who draws the Google doodles. But the doodle tradition started here before I did. The first doodle was produced by (who else?) Larry and Sergey, who, when they attended the Burning Man festival in summer 1999, put a little stick figure on the home page logo in case the site crashed and someone wanted to know why nobody was answering the phone. By the time I began an internship here in the summer of 2000, the company was producing doodles on a regular basis. At the time I was a Stanford undergrad majoring in art and computer science, and, although I hadn't been hired to do anything remotely related to logo design, I eventually stumbled into my first doodle gig (Bastille Day, July 2000, for which I did a fairly boring flag motif).
Pointer @ growabrain

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 12, 2004 6:43 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Portrait of the Artist As A Muse

Georgia OKeeffe: A Portrait
1918 - Palladium print

Alfred Stieglitz
American - Born 1864, died 1946

From Gifts to the Phiadelphia Museum

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 18, 2003 9:53 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
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