Friday I had tickets to see James McAvoy in Cyrano. Way back before we could have imagined two+ years of lockdowns and mask mandates, the National Theater offered up a live simulcast from London of a performance of Cyrano. I saw it in a giant, sold-out movie house in lower Manhattan — all of us sitting so close to one another, maskless, talking to strangers, laughing in each other’s faces. A whole other world.
The show was great. Better than great. I will distress many a James McAvoy fan by saying that it wasn’t until I saw that performance that I realized James McAvoy was attractive. He was so stunningly compelling in that role, I had a whole scales-falling-from-my-eyes moment in the movie theater. (This is a repeating issue with me. Ask my sister about the heartthrob men I’ve never noticed until, suddenly, I see them. She still teases me about Keanu Reeves. No, really.)
I am a lover of set design, and this production has a fabulous set that is both barely there and insanely flexible. Seeing the ways the cast moved around and over the set was fascinating.
So, when I heard that the production was coming to Brooklyn, I knew I wanted tickets. All that fabulousness live in front of me rather than on a movie screen! I had to go.
And I’m so glad I did. Live theater is so amazing. My friend and I weren’t in love with our seats. I asked an usher if we could be moved. I suggested some chairs at the back up the upper orchestra … she found us excellent seats in the front row of the upper orchestra! (More evidence of what a good idea it is to ask for things you need.)
McAvoy was amazing. Despite my inability to see him clearly before Cyrano, I had been fully aware that he was a good actor. He smashes the dial and turns it up to 20 in this performance.
Oh dear. Just noticed that it’s already midnight! Now I’ve officially missed two days in a row! I gave myself a pass last night because I was so late coming home from the theater … but I definitely wasn’t feeling inspired to fight my way through two ghazals today. Sigh. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe.
Into the Darkness
Tired of bumping up against what I can't see,
unable to avoid things unsensed, what I can't see
All the fears and catastrophes run in my head,
every uncertainty condensed. What I can't see.
There's a reason to be here, a reason to stay.
The work and the new worlds it presents. What I can't see.
My steps are small, hesitant, almost creeping.
The invisible path keeps me tensed -- what I can't see.
I, Stacie, want to take full strides, stretch my gait,
push myself further, all fears dispensed. What, I can't see.
National Poetry Month 2022: the Ghazal
As I’ve done for more than ten years (what?!), I’ve chosen a poetic form, and I’m going to try to write a poem in that form every day for the month of April … and I’m saying that boldly, knowing that I’ve already failed. I couldn’t find my way through to a poem on Day One, but I’m determined to continue.
The “Ghazal” is the form I’ve chosen for this year. Here is the structure and a little backstory (thank you Poetry Foundation):
“Originally an Arabic verse form dealing with loss and romantic love, medieval Persian poets embraced the ghazal, eventually making it their own. Consisting of syntactically and grammatically complete couplets, the form also has an intricate rhyme scheme. Each couplet ends on the same word or phrase (the radif), and is preceded by the couplet’s rhyming word (the qafia, which appears twice in the first couplet). The last couplet includes a proper name, often of the poet’s. In the Persian tradition, each couplet was of the same meter and length, and the subject matter included both erotic longing and religious belief or mysticism.”
Should be interesting!