Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Poetry Tuesday: "The Indian Serenade" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

   I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright:
I arise from dreams of thee,
And a spirit in my feet
Hath led me—who knows how?
To thy chamber window, Sweet!

   The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream—
The Champak odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The Nightingale's complaint,
It dies upon her heart;—
As I must on thine,
Oh, belov├Ęd as thou art!

   Oh lift me from the grass!
I die! I faint! I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast;—
Oh! press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Steampunk is getting hip... and so far it's not a good thing

Well, Steampunk is in the Urban Dictionary, and it's not very pretty.  Though parts of the definitions are quire accurate, some are just ridiculous.  Suddenly "Medieval Steampunk" constitues all speculative fiction set in the Middle Ages?  We "love fiddly gears and shiny metal things?"  We're all goths that discovered the color brown?  My personal favorite is definition #5:

"A delayed afterbirth of all the lame subcultures spawned in the 1990's, because everything has to evolve into a trend and everyone needs to feel they can wholeheartedly ascribe to something."
Well I'm thoroughly insulted now.  (If you aren't by now, just read definition #8.)  Seriously?  I suppose that to those fabulously intelligent and well-informed people who wear their hats backwards and their pants down around their knees, Steampunk would be lame.  But if Steampunk is lame, I sure-as-hell don't want to be cool.  All that these definitions have in common is that Steampunk is a subculture.  As for the rest, well it does include speculative fiction, and it does involve costumes which can occasionally resemble goth clothes, and Steampunk machinery relies heavily on gears, but I can't help but be distressed by some of these definitions.  Perhaps I'm taking my Steampunk-ness too seriously.

I suppose there is a positive side to this.  Eight high school hipsters with too much time on their hands posted definitions of Steampunk on Urban Dictionary.  That means that people actually know what Steampunk is, or at least they're heard of it.  And now that it is on Urban Dictionary, it's bound to peak the interest of even more people.  So perhaps there is no such thing as bad publicity.  Time will tell, as it always does.

The Lonely Alchemist

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A tidbit of Jane Austen

No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard—and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable independence besides two good livings—and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on—lived to have six children more—to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands had little other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, and Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features—so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy's plays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush. Indeed she had no taste for a garden; and if she gathered flowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief—at least so it was conjectured from her always preferring those which she was forbidden to take. Such were her propensities—her abilities were quite as extraordinary.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Steampunk Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, Steampunks!  And if you're single, happy Single's Independence Day!  Whatever your plans or lack-thereof are, I hope you take some time today to appreciate those people in your life who love you, and those whom you love.  xoxoxo
Steampunk Valentine's Card by ClockworkCouture

In love and friendship,
The Lonely Alchemist

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Poetry Tuesday: "A Tree Telling of Orpheus" by Denise Levertov

White dawn. Stillness.      When the rippling began
    I took it for a sea-wind, coming to our valley with rumors
    of salt, of treeless horizons. but the white fog
didn't stir; the leaved of my brothers remained outstretched,

          Yet the rippling drew nearer — and then
my own outermost branches began to tingle, almost as if
fire had been lit below them, too close, and their twig-tips
were drying and curling.
                  Yet I was not afraid, only
                  deeply alert.

I was the first to see him, for I grew