A Mental Photograph

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:

http://ampoarchive.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/mental-photograph-sidney-lanier/

WHAT IS–

1. YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?
paisley

2. FLOWER?
roses, roses, roses

and meat flowers
and frangipani

3. TREE?
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?
dusk (duh)

6. SEASON OF THE YEAR?
autumn for its orchestral lugubriousness

7. PERFUME?
roasting green tea

8. GEM?
those on the fake nightingale

9. STYLE OF BEAUTY?
convulsive: blllaaaggghhh

10. NAMES, MALE AND FEMALE?
tarzan
jane

11. PAINTERS?
elephants

12. MUSICIANS?
gamelan players

13. PIECE OF SCULPTURE?
the large glass

14. POETS?
you
15. POETESSES?
you

16. PROSE AUTHORS?
bloggers

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?
swoon

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?
dress-up

24. WHAT IS YR. FAVORITE OCCUPATION?
writing

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?
correspondence

30. WHAT IS YR. IDEA OF MISERY?
disconnection, also chronic pain

31. WHAT IS YOUR BÊTE NOIR?
restriction (constriction)

32. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?
time

33. WHAT IS YR. FAVORITE GAME?
flarf

34. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE TO BE YOUR DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTIC?
hair

35. IF MARRIED, WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE TO BE THE DISTINGUISHING
CHARACTERISTICS OF YR. BETTER HALF?
funny joking

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.

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