Got a bunch to say -- about baseball stats, about the Tremendous writer's retreat we just finished, about the subject of my favorite ever sports event, about the iPad 2, about the 32 best players in baseball, about my favorite day in the NBA, about something that is still secret -- but I'm running in so many directions at the moment that I'm not sure how or when I'll get to any of it.
In the meantime, through a series of misunderstandings, I ended up downloading William Hazlitt's "Lectures on the English Poets Delivered at the Surrey Institution." I assume that this is a classic because I was able to download it for free, but I must admit I knew nothing whatsoever about it or Hazlitt or really English Poets. I am reading it now and I am shocked to report that ... it's is absolutely wonderful and mind-blowing.
Two quotations -- the first a bit longer -- about poetry, but really about writing, but really about life:
"Fear is poetry, hope is poetry, love is poetry, hatred is poetry; contempt, jealousy, remorse, admiration, wonder, pity, despair, or madness, are all poetry. Poetry is that fine particle within us that expands, rarifies, refines, raises our whole being: without it 'man's life is poor as beast's.' ... The child is a poet, in fact, when he first plays hide-and-seek, or repeats the story of Jack the Giant-killer; the shepherd-boy is a poet, when he first crowns his mistress with a garland of flowers; the countryman, when he stops to look at the rainbow; the miser, when he hugs his gold; the courtier, who builds his hopes upon a smile; the savage, who paints his idol with blood; the slave, who worships a tyrant, or the tyrant who fancies himself a god."
The second quotation is the best description I have ever heard of blogging.
"It is the perfect coincidence of the image and the words with the feeling we have, and of which we cannot get rid in any other way, that gives an instant 'satisfaction to the thought.' This is equally the origin of wit and fancy, or comedy and tragedy, of the sublime and the pathetic."
If I ever thought something as awesome as "the perfect coincidence of the image and the words with the feeling we have," I'm pretty sure my life would be complete. Though I did write that thing about Snuggies.