Elegy for the Loss of Speed
by, January 16th, 2010 at 10:49 PM (3052 Views)
With FINA's ban today of high tech body suits for masters swimmers, I know that my swimming times will add a bit of time--several decades, actually, per event.
I didn't think this prospect would make me sad, but I find it is, in fact.
Oh, it seems like only yesterday when the Speedo Corporation came out with its kneeskin Aquablades, quickly dubbed "girlie suits" by all the guys on our team, and almost as quickly adopted as our new favorite items of clothing!
But too close to the sun old Speedo's Icarus flew! Too far from girly, too proximate to cheating!
I would write my own elegy for the loss of these suits, the loss of my youth, the sudden emergence of the old man who has long hidden himself with high school times inside these Ponce de Leon raiments!
So instead I shall just quote some lines from Elegists all dead themselves now.
Let us hope that after a while, hedonic adjustments will take place, and that each of us, in our own way, will grow content once more inside our withering, slowing flesh, no longer quick but not yet dead!
For thee, O now a silent soul, my brother,
From:Ave Atque Vale
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Take at my hands this garland, and farewell.
Thin is the leaf, and chill the wintry smell,
And chill the solemn earth, a fatal mother,
With sadder than the Niobean womb,
And in the hollow of her breasts a tomb.
Content thee, howsoe'er, whose days are done;
There lies not any troublous thing before,
Nor sight nor sound to war against thee more,
For whom all winds are quiet as the sun,
All waters as the shore.
by Anne Brontė
Yet, though I cannot see thee more,
'Tis still a comfort to have seen;
And though thy transient life is o'er,
'Tis sweet to think that thou hast been;
To think a soul so near divine,
Within a form so angel fair,
United to a heart like thine,
Has gladdened once our humble sphere.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T S Eliot
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old I grow old
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.