Monday, July 12, 2010

"Ladies, how vain, -- hollow..."

For Wilfried:


There she goes, Miss Vatican City with enough fabric for a circus tent:






That was the reality, now here is the fiction from Fellini's "Roma."






'Daisy and lily,
Lazy and silly,
Walk by the shore of the wan grassy sea, —
Talking once more 'neath a swan-bosomed tree.
Rose castles,
Tourelles,
Those bustles
Where swells
Each foam-bell of ermine,
They roam and determine
What fashions have been and what fashions will be, —
What tartan leaves born,
What crinolines worn.
By Queen Thetis,
Pelisses
Of tarlatine blue,
Like the thin plaided leaves that the castle crags grew,
Or velours d'Afrande:
On the water-gods' land
Her hair seemed gold trees on the honey-cell sand
When the thickets gold spangles, on deep water seen,
Were like twanging guitar and like cold mandoline,
And the nymphs of great caves,
With hair like gold waves,
Of Venus, wore tarlatine.
Louise and Charlottine
(Boreas' daughters)
And the nymphs of deep waters,
The nymph Taglioni,
Grisi the ondine,
Wear plaided Victoria and thin Clementine
Like the crinolined waterfalls;
Wood-nymphs wear bonnets, shawls,
Elegant parasols
Floating are seen.
The Amazons wear balzarine of jonquille
Beside the blond lace of a deep-falling ril;
Through glades like a nun
They run from and shun
The enormous and gold-rayed rustling sun;
And the nymphs of the fountains
Descend from the mountains
Like elegant willows
On their deep barouche pillows,
In cashmere Alvandar, barège Isabelle,
Like bells of bright water from clearest wood-well.
Our élégantes favouring bonnets of blond,
The stars in their apiaries,
Sylphs in their aviaries,
Seeing them, spangle these, and the sylphs fond
From their aviaries fanned
With each long fluid hand
The manteaux espagnols,
Mimic the waterfalls
Over the long and the light summer land.

– – – – – –

So Daisy and Lily,
Lazy and silly,
Walk by the shore of the wan grassy sea,
Talking once more 'neath a swan-bosomed tree.
Rose castles,
Tourelles,
Those bustles!
Mourelles
Of the shade in their train follow.
Ladies, how vain, — hollow, —
Gone is the sweet swallow, —
Gone, Philomel!'

— Dame Edith Sitwell (1887–1964)


Aside from being a silly spectacle, the capa magna's not-so-implicit monarchism really grinds my gears ( my father would say, "really chaps my ass."). That's all I need is yet another "Let them eat shit" supremacist (Banksters, Masters of the Universe, God's Elect, Rich Old White People, Princes of the Church, Management, they're all the same damn thing) demanding that the peasants kneel before him.

7 comments:

JCF said...

Where's Tallulah Bankhead to make snide remarks when we need her?

BillyD said...

How odd - the bride in that first video was wearing red. Now, not marrying in white is one thing, but all that red silk just screams "Jezebel!" Poor dear. Still, it looked as if she was getting every little girl's dream wedding...

Lapinbizarre said...

Next to the last piece on this You Tube cut, recited by Dame Edith. The claim, in the notes, that "Rap music was invented in England by Dame Edith Sitwell in 1922" could be seen as pushing it a bit.

Counterlight said...

'"Rap music was invented in England by Dame Edith Sitwell in 1922" could be seen as pushing it a bit.'

Indeed, folks in the Bronx would object strenuously.

Thanks for the clip of Dame Sitwell. I've never been much of a fan of William Walton, but I've always loved Facade.

Bernie said...

There is symbolic meaning to the wearing of the capa magna. It is the Church's ritualistic way of teaching a lesson; it is a deliberate put down of worldly power in the eyes of God. The cape is worn by the celebrant in procession before the Liturgy begins. He enters the church wearing the outrageously long cape and processes to the altar. He is then stripped of the cape (his worldly power and fame and even his personal identity) and clothed in the rich vestments of the Liturgy which symbolize "putting on Christ" -Christ of the transfiguration. The celebrant offers Mass "in persona Christ", in the person of Christ. It is Christ who acts, not the person of the priest.

Lapinbizarre said...

And how does he dress as he leaves the church, Bernie? If he's wearing the capa magna, pull the other one.

Lapinbizarre said...

ps, even the "Ultras" commenting over at New Liturgical Movement have, for the most part, no time for the garment.