The Waist Land

by Stefan Fletcher April. 13, 2010 3514 views

Nam Sybillam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
Σίβυλλα τί θέλεις; respondebat illa: ἀποθανεîν θέλω.


I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

* * * * *

I was trying for the burnt-out, old postcard look of French peasant life with some very cavalier Lightroom post-processing, helped by the sharp, early spring light which always brings the above stanza to my mind. However, in taking these shots with my striding gait I tore my jeans in a very strategic area (think “air-conditioned testicles” and stop thinking right now), which led to the following humble – but apposite – adaptation:


The Waist Land

[My inspired prose rendition of the Satyricon quote:
Sibyl overcomes my ego by spitting in my eye and says in a very puerile way, “what do you want?”, to which I respond: “I want to lose weight”]


I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD PANTS
April is the cruellest month, squeezing
Trousers over flabby thighs, mixing
Calories and desire, stirring
Love handles with tank tops.
Winter kept us large, covered in
Coats and forgetful layers, feeding
On a few too many seconds.
Summer surprise us…


The humour - if any - is probably waisted on anyone who isn't a intellectual snob, hasn't had a classical education and doesn't speak English. Apologies to all the unpretentious and/or non-English-speaking theoretical physicists reading this.

If it wasn't for the car and the TV aerials (I couldn't be arsed to clone them out), this would have looked quite convincing. See text below.

ADDENDUM AFTER SEVERAL COMMENTS: THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A PASTICHE OF T.S. ELLIOT'S VERY DEMANDING "THE WASTE LAND", of which the original follows:

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Ray King 11 years, 2 months ago

This is great stuff! Even though I ain't no intellectual snob.

11 years, 2 months ago Edited
Lynda 11 years, 2 months ago

I like this departure for you and the blurry effect. I 1st read the Wasteland at school and some of his other work and have always liked TS Elliot and this poem in particular. But I also really like The Hollow Men .'This is the way the world ends not with a bang but ripped jeans!'

11 years, 2 months ago Edited
Thebronzebow 11 years, 2 months ago

I liked the way they turned out, but they don't look desolate at all. Any excuse to buy a new part of pants...;)

11 years, 2 months ago Edited
Jarvo J 11 years, 2 months ago

Neat set, especially number three which looked infra-red to me. As a man who is carrying a few more pounds than we was last autumn, I enjoyed the humour in your ditty, though I barely scrape into any of your three categories.

11 years, 2 months ago Edited
Jacki 11 years, 2 months ago

Not sure I've ever seen you go with b/w! I kinda like the look of overexposure on occasion. I'd skip the blurred edges, it doesn't say "old postcard" to me. Humor lost on me... :-)

11 years, 2 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 11 years, 2 months ago

This set is from a completely different quality than what we are used to be seeing from you.
Even though the pictures are not bad,
I do hope this will not become your style.
([i]Forgive me my honesty, I am not an intellectual and do not know where I write about[/i].)

11 years, 2 months ago Edited
Stefan Fletcher 11 years, 2 months ago

Oh, and the techie stuff: all shot with a 5DII and a Sigma 50 f/1.4 and then mucked about with in Lightroom.

Congrats the perpetrator of the previous comment who wins my vote for "best impersonation of a mad scientist bent on power".

11 years, 2 months ago Edited
Carolinesimone 11 years, 2 months ago

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

11 years, 2 months ago Edited
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