17 September 2006

Ode to Stalin

Since reading the AKWN article about the Astronautilia — a modern, sci-fi poem by Czech author Jan Křesadlo in Homeric Greek — I've been trying to find a copy. No luck so far. But in searching for it I found an article from this year about Křesadlo which has a small image of "Óda na Stalina" - an "Ode to Stalin" I presume. [Article] [Image]

The image is a bit small, so it's sometimes hard to be clear on some of the letters, though the basic tone is pretty clear:

Στᾶλιν, ἄναξ, ἄγαμαί σε. σὺ λευκολίθῳ ἐνὶ Κρέμλῳ
ἑζόμενος κρατέεις πάντας Ῥώσσας Τατάρους τε...

Stalin, lord, I revere you. You rule all Russia (?) and the
Tatars while sitting in the white-stoned Kremlin...

The image ends with the line “Πάντες δειδίοτες (sic) κινέουσι ποδάς τε πυγήν τε,” "everyone afraid moves (their) feet and butt." There doesn't seem to be punctuation at the end of that line, so it may be there's more after that.

I don't know when Křesadlo wrote this. The language of this ode is filled with Epic morphology and phrasing, λευκολίθῳ ἐνὶ Κρέμλῳ, but it also contains a number of eccentricities in accenting and scansion, which, with the subject matter, make me suspect this is an early work. If anyone can read Czech, I'd love to know if the article makes mention of when this fragment was composed.

05 September 2006

Recipes of my Father

Yesterday my dad called, and we started off our chat in the usual way — he griped about the sorry state of the Red Socks, the even sorrier state of farming on the east coast (he's in rural New York), and, sorriest of all, the state of politics. He has worked all his life on farms in some capacity, and in these coversations I sometimes learn many interesting bits of wisdom based, often, on the cow. When it's raining hard, "it's like a cow pissing on a flat rock." Once, when discussing politics, he said "the more you kick shit, the more it stinks," something most of us would do well to remember.

Of course I talk to him when I'm planning some bit of house repair I've never done before, but yesterday I asked how he felt about clam chowder. He paused, and then said gravely, "I love clam chowder." I found out his preferred version: no tomato! But then he offered a soup recipe of such audacity that I feel I have to share it.

Oyster Soup

1 pint oysters (he usually gets his fresh)
1 stick butter
1 1/2 pint half-n-half

Simmer oysters gently, and not too long. Serve.

I'm a little scared to make this. Certainly I'm not going to make it until I plenty of guests around. It seems like it'd be rich enough to serve a dozen.