Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blow by Blow by Detmar Blow

Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow

Readers of this blog and those who know me in person know that my imagination is captivated by the career of Isabella Blow.  She was and remains one of my most inspirational style icons.  When I recently had a little extra money, I purchased a few of the recently published books on the subject of Isabella Blow.  I chose to read Detmar Blow's biography of Isabella Blow first and I think it was the wise choice.  I was able to experience the book in a way I don't think I would have been able to had I read Lauren Goldstein Crowe's more conventional biography first, as this book was written by one of the characters in the conventional biography (or, more likely, ghost-written.)

Having spent the past year reading Milton, Shakespeare, and that crowd, the rhetorical style of the book was a bit like the frivolous uncle of a child, whose parents are draconian in their serving of only highly nutritious food, who takes the child out secretly for their first root beer float.  Although my Internal Pendant requires me to temper that enthusiasm by mentioning that there were at least two typos, a jarring lack of the Oxford comma at the proper places, and one instance in the book where Isabella was accidentally referred to in the present tense.  In contemporary slang, I would most likely characterize it as "a beach read" although a rather grim one.

The other issue I would take with the book is the inconsistent treatment of the subject matter as the forefront of the narrative.  Clearly Mr. Blow took great pains to research the early life of Isabella, most likely from her own accounts from their many years together and, by his admission, interviews with key figures in preparation for the book.  The second act, when Isabella Blow is at the height of her career and Detmar is her husband, also features Isabella although Detmar's first person arrives.  In the third act, as their marriage begins to feel the strain of her mental breakdown, the focus of the narrative seems to shift to Detmar (specifically Detmar's dealings with Isabella in the last portion of her life.)

The other criticism I would bring is that it seemed to me throughout that there was potentially enlightening information being withheld by the author possibly out of respect for the subject (or, possibly, out of still having to deal with the other survivors of the story) although I have no means by which to support that claim.  I do, however, strongly expect to find in the other biography more of a "warts and all" portrait of the couple and their relationship.  It is also probably not a surprising revelation that there are instances of opinion that may not be entirely objective.  I found it pushing the taste envelope that the major examples of specific negative opinion toward certain people's behavior is reserved for those no longer alive to defend themselves (notably Isabella's father and Alexander McQueen.  Although, in keeping with my defense of honesty, I am predisposed to not want to ever think ill of McQueen.)

The value of the book is in the love of the man for the subject as well as the bits of informal information gained from personal experience that we might not otherwise glimpse of some major figures of our day.  I smiled at Isabella's exasperation that Karl Lagerfeld would only shoot photos at night as he designed all day.  I loved the account of Alexander McQueen running to save his brawny Staffordshire Terrier from being chased by a Scottish Terrier.  I was charmed but not surprised to see that André Leon Talley comes off as one of the kindest people in the entire narrative.  Also of great value, I thought, was that the book could serve as a highly readable crash course in the history of contemporary fashion.

I would also mention Isabella Blow's remarkable ability to find new talent.  It was with some amusement that I read the section where other major figures in fashion journalism marvel at the quality and quantity of her discoveries.  It seems that Blow achieved this by leaving her office to go meet up and coming artists, attending senior class project shows, and even pulling people off of the street to end up in fashion shoots.  She seems to have gained this serendipitous ethic from Warhol.  And I don't mean an academic understanding of Warhol's artistic career.  I mean Andy Warhol probably turned to her one day when they were at a club or in a cab and said, "Isabella, here's how I find so many fresh new artists.  I go out."

The bare information in the first chapter poses the Richard Cory question, "Why would someone at the peak of their creative powers choose to end their life?"  Detmar's thesis seems to be that Isabella's eventual collapse started when she was five years old.  The inciting incident is the death of her two year old brother who her mother seemingly irresponsibly left in the care of five year old Isabella.  Isabella was called to the fence by a passerby and her brother fell in the pool.  The boy was her father's only male heir to his barony and the weight of the loss tore her family to pieces.  The study of family strife tearing an otherwise bright, creative, and successful person to pieces over decades was harrowing and, I daresay, had a touch of the universal appeal to it.

Although I do have my suspicions over the amount of responsibility placed on Isabella's highly dysfunctional upbringing.  Detmar went through a horrific experience and I found myself identifying with him throughout.  He had great difficulty in dealing with a harsh situation and I found his honesty over that refreshing.  He does not let the reader off the hook, just as he was never let off the hook.  In the end, he is one of the characters in the story who elicited the most sympathy and I doubt any further information from other sources could undermine that impression in me now.  

The third act boils down to a list of names of institutions and of suicide attempts.  There is a photograph near the end of Isabella with Bryan Ferry, both looking happy and prosperous, two of the more elite figures on the planet at the time.  The caption at the bottom directs the viewer to Isabella's right ankle.  Her leg is crossed and her ankle is showing beneath her calve length dress.  On her ankle is a nasty looking scar which, the caption informs us, came from her suicide attempt by jumping off of an overpass and shattering her foot and ankle bones.

I'm afraid that the end of the book does not give the reader much comfort or resolution, but there is a great truth in that.  It states outright the hopeless condition of one who is so seeped in their mental illness that they are entirely unwilling to take any action to help themselves and the utter helplessness of those who love them.  The book also highlights that even those who seem to be "on top" of the world have their places where they feel they failed, where they feel they were slighted, financial worries, insecurities, and all of the manifestations of fear and regret universal to humankind's existential dilemma.   That is why I would recommend the book to anyone and everyone.  It points to an existence where all of the success in the world doesn't really matter if there is no happiness and no peace.

Monday, March 21, 2011

English Traits by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I decided to skip the final few essays of Emerson and read his piece on aspects of the British character.  I will return to and comment on those final essays of Emerson, but I realized that I own all of those essays in at least two separate books.  I do not own Emerson's English Traits and I was on my third library renewal.

I initially expected a travelogue, but quickly realized that it is more of a fly-over of what the title suggests directly.  I assume the timing of the piece must needs be considered in any assessment.  It was published in a time where the intended audience would be people whose grandparents fought in the Revolutionary War and, unbeknownst to them, whose children would fight in the Civil War.  It strikes me as a strong possibility to assume that the book was intended to rebuild some burnt bridges between the two nations.  However, with the clarity of hindsight, the book is anomalous in two key points that are almost entirely absent from Emerson's Anglo-appraisal that are glaring to the modern eye.  Dr. Eliot would have been aware of these as well, so I'll add them to my list of questions for him that I am devising a way to smuggle with me into the hereafter.

The first is that the British had outlawed the slave trade over two decades prior to the book while America was about a decade out from outlawing that particular loathsome blot on our nation's history.  If memory serves, the closest Emerson even gets to mentioning this is the necessary inclusion of William Wilberforce and Charles James Fox in lists of great British men in recent memory.  I would have expected the most important issue in America just a handful of years hence would at least have been mentioned in the book, but I was mistaken.

The other topic I would have thought an American just this side of the Revolution would have made mention at some point about the British Empire.  This was written when the British Empire was in full swing and Emerson spends very little time on the subject specifically (although he does mention that the British tend to "take Britain with them" where ever they go.)  The book was published just a year before the Great Uprising in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.  Most of you know of the wonderful book that my friend Anurag Kumar wrote on the subject.  I think that the exclusion of any talk on that aspect of Britain lends credence to my hypothesis that the book was intended to amend the general American feeling toward their motherland.  It is probably also worth mentioning that the apple did not fall far from the tree in this aspect of national character.  America is, itself, sort of an empire built on taking land by force and violence.

The book begins with Emerson's visits to a few major figures in England whose acquaintance he decidedly wished to make.  He gives an account of meeting Coleridge, Carlyle, and Wordsworth.  Carlyle meets with Emerson's greatest approval, but the other two reminded me of the advice from Jonathan Carroll of "never meet your heroes."  I suppose in controlled settings, a book signing for example, it might be nice to meet one of my own heroes in person, but I always think "What if I met Stephen Fry when he had a head cold?  Or Paul F. Tompkins when he was in a hurry?  Or Caitlin Kiernan when she hasn't had enough sleep?"  It's so easy for me to be off my game; I have to assume it's the same for other humans.  I fear that a bad experience with a hero might thereafter taint my perception of their work and, as I realistically don't really expect to ever be on "phone call at 3 am" terms with any of those heroes, I would like to preserve my sense of wonder.  I further fear that may have been Emerson's experience, at least with Coleridge.  Otherwise the section is a fascinating snapshot of the personalities of a few great men that we might not otherwise have.  That alone makes the book worthwhile in my opinion.

Emerson gives an account of sea travel that I found more riveting and interesting than anything in Melville.  Most of the rest of the book comprises aspects of the British character in chapters with titles like: Literature, Religion, Manners, Land, and Truth.  At no point did I feel he denegrated the English character.  In fact, I was pleased to find the tone throughout laudatory.  One of the chapters that occasioned great thought and conversations with Laurie was the chapter on the topic of Aristocracy.  Emerson notes the existence of a leisure class and the remnants of the feudal spirit in England.  It struck me as quaint that he intimates that this is not the case in America where one can pull themselves up from the mud to become the richest man in the world, simply by square dealing and honest, hard labor.  Little did Emerson know America would mutate into an oligarchy over the course of the next 150 years and that the wealth of nations would funnel down into the pockets of a few dozen men.  Careful where you wag that finger, Emerson.

Emerson devotes large portion of the work talking of the strength and heartiness of the British people, their honesty, their endurance and composure, and their great contributions to civilization.  He lauds their educational system and states that their top tier universities put ours to shame (specifically in the category of affordability.  I wonder what Dr. Eliot, being the paradigmatic Harvard man, would have thought of that part too.)  He ends the piece with an account of a bucolic visit to Stonehenge and the text of a speech he gave in Manchester.

In his speech, there was a moment that I found rather shocking.  He said words to the effect that just as a parent lives on in their children, England will live on in the great acts performed by its "child," meaning America.  I thought it was an amazingly gutsy thing for an American to say to a room full of Englishmen in the middle of the 19th Century.  I probably wouldn't have said it, mainly because, as Emerson himself points out, a great nation does a lot of good but any nation full of humans is inevitably going to do a few things that wouldn't exactly make their parents proud.  I should probably state that I love America and I love England, which is the only other nation I've spent any length of time visiting.  I would go back in a heartbeat.

But, I think for me, the most valuable feature of this book is that it attempts to lay out a national character in all of its parts.  It is sort of an anatomy of a nation from an outsider's point of view.  We currently live in a highly individualistic culture that may rankle at the idea of a national character, but I contend that they exist in every nation.  There are traits that distinguish one nation from another and we all have facets of our character formed by environment.  Becoming aware of this is valuable because one can seek to augment or overcome traits depending on what one desires.  More to the point, the study of the traits of other nations provides one with an opportunity to seek to foster some virtues in themselves that they like in others and, most importantly, reminds us that we are all of one race.  Seeking to understand other cultures and cultivating friendships therein bring us closer to world peace.  It is what it means to be a global citizen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why the End of the World Matters

"Gee, that sign by the closed down carpet store looks serious!" 

"Religious fundamentalism is dangerous because it cannot accept ambiguity and diversity and is therefore inherently intolerant. Such intolerance, in the name of virtue, is ruthless and uses political power to destroy what it cannot convert. It is dangerous, especially in America, because it is anti-democratic and is suspicious of ‘the other,’ in whatever form that ‘other’ might appear. To maintain itself, fundamentalism must always define ‘the other’ as deviant."
-Peter Gomes, Harvard minister

The photo above is of a billboard about five blocks from my house.  I walked Schubert down there this blustery afternoon to snap a photograph of the ruddy thing.  I pass an identical one on my way to work every day.  Laurie passes a third in town on her way to work, similar, but, if memory serves, with some background art of an ominous dawn or dusk depending on how you look at it.  Laurie researched the website.  It is the product of a preacher named Harold Camping and, for those who have heard of him, that is probably sufficient information as to how serious one ought to take such a thing (if billboards next to carpet stores weren't enough of a clue for you.)  For the rest, the message of the sign is to report to the world the conclusion inferred from scripture by Mr. Camping that the world will end on May 21st and God will come and judge everyone.  By the way, the "WeCanKnow" is in reference to the remarkable hermenutical contortions for a man his age that Harold Camping applies to Jesus' teaching that no man knows when the end time will come.

I almost proceeded with this entry at this juncture without making clear that I don't buy a lick of this because it has never occurred to me for a split second to entertain the notion.  There is a book I flipped through a couple of years ago that contains a list of years from the late first century through somewhere in Star Trek time listing the people who predicted that the world would end on that certain date.  It is a very large book and the activity of skimming it, in my experience, quickly goes from humorous to depressing to pathetic.  It was especially notable to me that even many of the church fathers I had a modicum of respect for failed to resist the temptation.

Of course this is in keeping with the teaching in the Epistle of James where it is written that "Good, true, and virtuous religion is trying to figure out the date of the End Times in spite of Christ's admonition that no one can know that and, especially, using that deduction to scare the pants off of people."

There's a reason you don't remember that verse. Here's what James actually wrote, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

Oh, maybe they're working from that story in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus tells the rich young man that if he wants to be perfect he should sell everything he owns and use it to erect large, costly signs to scare people.

So, why would they do this?  The cynic in me would imagine that potentially someone has crunched the numbers and found that the amount of easy marks who would sell up and donate liberally to that ministry outweighs the amount who will NEVER give a red cent to the charlatan again after 5/21.  Or maybe it's a last hurrah for a preacher well into the closing moments of his own life's third act filling his storehouses for his own end of days.  Perhaps it is a ploy to get more people into the church (or at least sending money to Camping's ministry.  I am given to understand that one of his quirks is that the "church age" is over, so rather than going to church, people ought to sit at home and watch him on their television sets at 2 in the morning and send him money.  Instead of going to church) although personally, putting myself in the bizarro world where I would be duped by something like this, if I became a Christian over this, 5/21/11 would be the last day I would be a Christian.  There is also the off chance that the people responsible for the billboard genuinely believe it, which almost seems the saddest possibility to me.  That you search earnestly in weird ways, counting words or numbers or some strange pattern like an acidhead, and feel the information is so important that you have to get it out there, but the best you can do is have an old man in a chair talk about it with VHS quality film and purchase billboards next to a closed down carpet warehouse.

Of course, the world will end someday.  Astrophysicists assure us that we are statistically long overdue for a massive asteroid to slam into the Earth, destroying all life as we know it, and that it is unlikely, given the vastness of space and in spite of our advanced technology, that we will have much warning if any.  Modern astromoners also posit that the universal death is likely to follow the prophetic word of Eliot as everything continues to slowly expand away from everything else until the vastness of space is little more than a cold, dark void.

What do I think is going to happen?  I don't know, although my experience in life so far has shown me that tribulations rarely, if ever, come in the forms that I was worried about.  They come in ways I have never anticipated, probably because the things I'd prepared for are things I'm prepared for.  And it is important to me to state that I don't know.  Neither does anyone else regardless of what they tell you.  I hasten to add that this is not the point.  I feel it is important to one's behavior and faith what they believe specifically.  I feel it is equally if not more important for everyone to know, to hold in their heart and strap to their foreheads, "I don't know."

One's view of the end of the world does matter, especially in religious circles.  For example, there exists a large contingent in American Christianity who take the view that we are currently in the End Times and that the current function of the church is to usher in the kingdom of God.  This means legislating morality and supporting the nation of Israel no matter what.  Their end times view dictates that behavior.  As for me, I remain vehemently eschatologically agnostic although I think John's Revelation as well as the end of the book of Daniel are cyclical and didactic.  I suppose that they very well may be more about types of things that happen throughout history or, perhaps, in the life of the individual more than pointing to specific events certainly written in a highly stylized, highly poetic manner.  I also think that they contain lessons for believers at any time in history.  But, most importantly, what does this mean to me, Paul Mathers, today, practically?  Also, why am I writing about this?

Well, I have another stop on our contemporary Christianity tour before I get to my answer to that question.  There is a highly popular pastor in Michigan named Rob Bell who writes books that I don't read.  I mean no offense by that.  They may be fine books for all I know, but, as regular readers of this blog are probably well aware, I find the tick of the existential alarm clock requires I turn my attention to the classics first.  Pastor Bell has a book set for publication very soon called Love Wins.

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived

In keeping with the fine tuned attention to neoteric publishing style, Pastor Bell released a "book trailer" on YouTube which was met with the great contumely chorus by some of the theological elites in America.  But before I get into that, here is the video in question:

The theological elite community mentioned above seems to have inferred from Pastor Bell's video that he has become what is called a Universalist which, through the filter of the limited context they are choosing to apply here, means one who believes that everyone gets into Heaven when they die.  One of the most disingenuous was Pastor John Piper who simply tweeted "Farewell, Rob Bell" in response to the video in spite of the fact that Piper and Bell were never exactly rubbing elbows.  It is also worth mentioning that none of these critics have actually read the book as it is not yet available.  I did not get that from this video.  I have watched it several times and at no time does Pastor Bell state that he holds that position.  As far as I can tell, Pastor Bell is asking a lot of questions in the video, questions which I have been asking over the past eight months.

I come not to praise Rob Bell or to bury him.  I bring all of this up to draw a parallel.  At the risk of being overly harsh, there is a certain intellectual cap in religious circles above which it seems unlikely that the Harold Camping form of religious bastardization will not capture the mind or heart.  However, an intellectual debate over a point in theology which offers the reward of being smarter, more scripturally accurate and, therefore, in one's own estimation of better quality than another person is a form of the same bastardization that has the potential to appeal to those whose minds are a bit higher than wondering if one ought to stockpile food or which current world leader is the Antichrist.  I am not making an argument against seeking to be doctrinally accurate.

I knew, as soon as Laurie told me about it over the phone last night on my lunch break, that there will be people in the Harold Camping camp who will point to the horrible tragedy in Japan and say "See!  End times!"  It strikes me as crass a reaction as those who came up with conspiracies over the terrible events of 9/11/01 in order to puff themselves up with secret knowledge, even as others are suffering.  Eight months ago, my best friend died.  There was no comfort for me in my religion.  In that time I remembered every gloating statement made by a theologian over God's wrath and judgment.  Again, this is appropriating what is arguably (if you really believe it to be true) the highest tragedy in existence and using it as an ego boost.  Hearing the pietistic peanut gallery harp on Pastor Bell sent my mind instantly back to asking those very same questions in my own mind for almost a year now.

You do not take horrible tragedies that happen to people who are suffering terribly and make it about you.  Faced with horrible tragedies, compassion is the correct response.  Self-righteousness is the response of the craven.  Another thing that is explicitly expressed in scripture is that if one does not love one's neighbor, one does not love God.  Everyone is your neighbor.

The two mindsets I've mentioned in this post I mentioned in conjunction judiciously because both of them take their religious path and make it about a tangential issue which has nothing to do with what the path is actually about.  The Camping perversion is a little more overt, but the key problem over the Rob Bell kerfuffle is that the argument is over some passages of scripture which are purposely obscure (if you think you have a clear, mapped out vision of exactly what the afterlife is supposed to look like in our faith, you're thinking of Dante, not anything from scripture) applied to a book which people have not yet read to the exclusion of people who are genuinely struggling with these issues.  I think about the End Times and those passages of scripture and what they have to teach me.  The conclusion I come to is that, like all of scripture, they point to Christ.  In this case, to His return, His love for His people, and our communion with Him.  That is the point and, in light of that, those who instantly assume that the message "Love Wins" is heretical are not part of a religion I want to have anything to do with.

Religion is not about stockpiling food to the exclusion of the poor.  It is not about scaring people with End Times or Hell.  It is not about being the Rightest King of Right Mountain.  It is about living a virtuous life, helping those around you, loving one another.  It is about seeking to draw closer to God and know Him better.  I know that there are those who will probably wish to say "Having correct scriptural theology is seeking to know God better."  To which I say, in the depths of despair, alienation, and questioning, I have recalled the harsh words of every braggart theologian and they are the last place I would turn for any kind of comfort.  You turn to those who show love, compassion, and kindness in times of difficulty, which is most of existence.  That is why the bulk of the New Testament is geared toward encouraging that sort of behavior.

Everyone is going through very difficult times.  We need to be quick to reconcile, to love and show compassion.  Life is far too short for petty squabbles.  Everyone is suffering and everyone is dying.  The rare occasions where religion does not serve as an opiate, when it functions properly, is when it serves to comfort and unite people, all people, regardless of what they think, say, or do.  Those are the moments when God is present.

Judgment is for the Defense.  Court is adjourned.

Now here's a video of an asteroid slamming into Earth.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Birthday Wish List 2011

It's March, which means that I am about a month and a half away from being one year younger than Mozart was when he died.  I thought I might do a brief post of my birthday wish list if there are people who might care to get me a birthday present this year.

Of course, the major present I'm anticipating is the drawing or painting Laurie is working on of me as Bacchus to hang in my office.  Right, honey?

My current major project is learning Latin and so I think the only two books I would like to request are tailored toward that end.  The first is the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible which I think would provide me with an excellent, life-long means by which to be continually immersed in the language.  It is also the key translation used in the west for almost a millennium of church history.  For those unfamiliar with the history of the Vulgate, it was a 4th century translation largely by St. Jerome for the purpose of a "common use" translation of the Bible (hence "Vulgate."  Means "common use."  Doesn't mean it's full of swears) in the age when Latin was largely the linguistic coin of the realm.  It was canonized at the Council of Trent.  It continued to be the common translation as the language itself died and access to scripture remained sequestered to the literate class (which is to say the clergy) through the Middle Ages until Luther translated the Bible into common German (arguably, in some circles, continuing until Vatican II in the 1960s.)

For my purposes, as I said to Laurie the other day, "In my project of learning Latin, I feel like securing for myself a copy of the Vulgate would be the key for keeping my Latin for the rest of my life."  And as fun as I'm sure it will be to read Caesar, Virgil, Pliny, and Catullus, the Vulgate is something I could actually see myself delving into daily and something I'm actually excited about.

The other Latin text is a bit cuter (and cheaper.)  Someone decided that the world needed a Latin translation of Winnie The Pooh.

That's all I have.  It's a short list with one expensive book in it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good Morning

Look what I woke up to this morning!  A package!

Sacré bleu!  It's the books I'd ordered!

Très bien. I'm off to my armchair.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let's All Write a Ballad!

Yes, I am still working through The Handbook of Poetic Forms in spite of the half-year's worth of simmering on the back burner.

Our next tasting of vinum daemonum is the variety known as The Ballad.  This is an ancient form.  Let's spend a moment unpacking the history of the form before we glide into composition.

Early ballads were folk songs, likely originating in the borderlands of Scotland and England.  Their subject matter would often include the supernatural or mythological, love, and heightened emotions (which is code speak for "probably someone dies.")  Here is an example from the folk/celtic/goth fusion band Faith and the Muse with an interpretation of the traditional ballad The Unquiet Grave:

Of course, there are examples in the evolution of the form of the ballad being employed for more exclusively social justice messages as American folk music enthusiasts are probably well aware.  There are variations on the form in the Western Canon, notably Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol (both of which I highly recommend) falling more in line with the "heightened emotion" subject matter.  Needless to say, the ballad in the literary form is not necessarily set to music, although it can be and certainly, as with all poetry, must needs be composed on the tongue.

I should also mention the hodiernal prevailing understanding of the ballad in popular music as a love ballad which may conjure up images of a stadium full of waving lighters or, more likely, the sort of song at a concert during which bathroom lines increase in density.  Often in popular music the understanding of the subject matter is simply distilled to love songs, however I would point out the Ballad of John and Yoko by The Beatles as a notable and well known exception.  I would also remind Nick Cave fans of his album of traditional Murder Ballads (and anyone who has never heard it, I would highly encourage to seek out that astonishing album with all speed.)

The traditional form is four line stanzas.  Lines 1 and 3 have four beats; lines 2 and 4 have three beats and rhyme.  Here is my modest contribution to the artform:

The Ballad of Frogs and Fate
By Paul Mathers

The Moirae, tired of their task
a-spinning yarns of fate,
and for a moment of respite
needed a surrogate.

By need they called the closest beast
to occupy the thing.
They gave some local frogs the job
to spin and cut the string.

The Moirae gone, the frogs spun out
two lovers at a lake
and planted in his jealous mind
a cuckolding mistake.

When he espied the kerchief that she
used to wipe her tears,
He thought it a gift from a beau,
confirming all his fears.

His rage deaf to her protesting
he pushed her in and down.
His hand firm on her pretty head
His true love he did drown.

Despairing of his loss of love,
a rock tied to his shin,
he bid the wicked world adieu,
and threw his body in.

The Moirae back, the frogs relieved,
as reward for their aid,
the Fates offered to send the frogs
where ever they would say.

The frogs went to the lake where the
two lovers bodies lie,
to wait for the two corpses to
attract a swarm of flies.