Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Diva becomes Divine

Eartha Kitt RIP 1927- 2008

I had the chance, one upon a time, to be at a dinner party in honor of her Kitt-ness, the best Cat-woman, (once dubbed the "most exciting woman in the world" by Orson Welles)
Certainly she was everything you would have expected from an amazing Force of Nature kind of entertainer. (she secretly reveled in her campy image) Offstage, however, Kitt described herself as shy and almost reclusive, remnants of feeling unwanted and unloved as a child. She referred to herself as "that little urchin cotton-picker from the South, Eartha Mae."
Throughout the evening, she was a perfectly charming- even though I was barely 18 and she being at least 52, she was gracious and interesting. (as well as interested) Believe it or not, among other subjects like art and dance, she talked about, of all things, poetry. This poem was apparently a favorite of hers, she recited it, verbatim, and from that moment on, it has remained one of mine...
If you could only hear it, as I still can, in her voice...Eartha Kitt reciting Wordsworth, Hmmmmm... you don't hear that everyday I suppose...

Daffodils - a poem by by William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man