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Spontaneous Aphorisms

Ben Jonson, "A little winter-love in a dark corner"

Ben Jonson


Waste of Time.—What a deal of cold business doth a man misspend
the better part of life in! In scattering compliments, tendering visits,
gathering and venting news, following feasts and plays, making
a little winter-love in a dark corner.

-- Ben Jonson, (1572–1637)


My college roommate Ben cracked about History, specifically History 3001X , with W. Johnson: "it's a waste of time."  But then, and now,  you could argue that history with anyone is a waste of time -- certainly, for an American with technological know-how who believes in computers and artificial intelligence. Then you think you've found a definition of history: a waste of time. Then you read Ben Jonson, who believes that life itself is largely a waste of time. Then you think of the oceanic whispers, the gusts of wind that announce the changing of the guard, as fall loses its colors and winter arrives in white.  -- from Mark Gardner, The Dying Fall

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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