Today is Vladimr Nabokov's birthday. His opening lines of Lolita are among my favorite novel-openers. It's hard for me to describe the passion I have for this story, but maybe it's all right here. From a my perspective, the pull is that of that just discovered power of youth and beauty you have no idea what do with until it's almost (almost) too late.
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo in the morning, standing 4-foot-10 in one sock; she was Dolly at school; she was Doris on the dotted line; but in my arms, she was always Lolita.
It's also supposed to be the believed date of William Shakespeare's birth. Below is Writer's Almanac's poem of the day.
Poem: "Sonnet 104" by William Shakespeare. Public domain.
To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April pérfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah yet doth beauty, like a dial hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived:
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,
Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.
And in other news, do you own a pair of New Balance?
Are you white? Read more about your kind here at Stuff White People Like.
And my favorite song these days. Leonard Cohen's "Anthem" from The Future, 1992 album.
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in."
That's how the light gets in. And it's Spring.