Thanks to Ben Friedlander for this Facebook meme from the nineteenth century, by way of Sidney Lanier (best known for The Boy’s King Arthur), who was tagged in the winter of 1874 by a Miss Anne Perot of Baltimore, Maryland. For Lanier’s answers go here:
1. YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?
roses, roses, roses
and meat flowers
of life (Indian bedspread)
4. OBJECT IN NATURE?
the fact that the “separability” of so-called “objects” in nature is temporary. this fascinates me.
5. HOUR IN THE DAY?
6. SEASON OF THE YEAR?
autumn for its orchestral lugubriousness
roasting green tea
those on the fake nightingale
9. STYLE OF BEAUTY?
10. NAMES, MALE AND FEMALE?
13. PIECE OF SCULPTURE?
the large glass
16. PROSE AUTHORS?
17. CHARACTER IN ROMANCE?
Lucifer in Paradise Lost
18. CHARACTER IN HISTORY?
Elizabeth 1, although she was an imperialist. still.
19. BOOK TO TAKE UP FOR AN HOUR?
oh, too many of these
20. WHAT BOOK (NOT RELIGIOUS) WOULD YOU PART WITH LAST?
21. WHAT EPOCH WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE LIVED IN?
Heian-era Japan (as an aristocrat) or Edo-era Japan (as a regular person)
22. WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
Bali, Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Bolinas (and some yet unvisited places)
23. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AMUSEMENT?
24. WHAT IS YR. FAVORITE OCCUPATION?
25. WHAT TRAIT OF CHARACTER DO YOU MOST ADMIRE IN MAN?
grace and intensity and a way with words
26. WHAT TRAIT DO YOU MOST ADMIRE IN WOMAN?
a way with words and intensity and grace
27. WHAT TRAITS OF CHARACTER DO YOU MOST DETEST IN EACH?
dullness, vulgarity, meanness
28. IF NOT YOURSELF WHO WD. YOU RATHER BE?
a much-loved housecat
29. WHAT IS YR. IDEA OF HAPPINESS?
30. WHAT IS YR. IDEA OF MISERY?
disconnection, also chronic pain
31. WHAT IS YOUR BÊTE NOIR?
32. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?
33. WHAT IS YR. FAVORITE GAME?
34. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE TO BE YOUR DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTIC?
35. IF MARRIED, WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE TO BE THE DISTINGUISHING
CHARACTERISTICS OF YR. BETTER HALF?
36. WHAT IS THE SUBLIMEST PASSION OF WHICH HUMAN NATURE IS CAPABLE?
I know, but I’m not going to tell you.
37. WHAT ARE THE SWEETEST WORDS IN THE WORLD?
marzipan? praline? honeycomb?
38. WHAT ARE THE SADDEST WORDS?
don’t know and don’t want to know.
39. WHAT IS YOUR AIM IN LIFE?
to write baroque poetry that no one understands
40. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO
Everything is material for poetry.