This celestial seascape, with white herons got up as angels,
flying high as they want and as far as they want sidewise
in tiers and tiers of immaculate reflections;
the whole region, from the highest heron
down to the weightless mangrove island
with bright green leaves edged neatly with bird-droppings
like illumination in silver,
and down to the suggestively Gothic arches of the mangrove roots
and the beautiful pea-green back-pasture
where occasionally a fish jumps, like a wildflower
in an ornamental spray of spray;
this cartoon by Raphael for a tapestry for a Pope:
it does look like heaven.
But a skeletal lighthouse standing there
in black and white clerical dress,
who lives on his nerves, thinks he knows better.
He thinks that hell rages below his iron feet,
that that is why the shallow water is so warm,
and he knows that heaven is not like this.
Heaven is not like flying or swimming,
but has something to do with blackness and a strong glare
and when it gets dark he will remember something
strongly worded to say on the subject.
We spent a long July 4th weekend in beautiful Key West, celebrating freedom via endless barhopping and overeating. Somehow, between the Key lime margaritas, street beers, and moonlight reggaeton, we managed to stumble into Hemingway House (officially named The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum), the house where Hemingway lived for most of the 1930s, and the place where he wrote some of his best stuff. I had been to Hemingway house almost two decades ago, when I was about twelve or thirteen. I was obsessed with Hemingway then, so I took the tour. This time, however, it was too hot. My wife works for a museum, so we got in free, which also affects how one values/reviews a place of interest, so bear that in mind when I say that, unless you’re a literary nut, go ahead and skip Hemingway House and head to Kelly’s for a drink or six. Still, the house is beautiful, outfitted with plenty of artifacts related to Papa, including some books from his personal library that I photographed and included below. (I was the only nerd photographing the books; everyone seemed far more interested in the ancestors of Hemingway’s freakish cats).Here are the books (more after the jump):
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