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The Eighth Doctor Returns in Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Prequel | Tor.com
The Justice League goes to War in DC’s New 52 animated universe
Thanks to the straight-to-home video Flashpoint movie, the new animated universe based on DC’s New 52 relaunch is officially here. The first movie in this brand-new DCAU? Justice League: War, based on the first six issues of the Justice League comic by Geoff Johns — here’s the trailer.
Poem of the week
A vivid tableau of seasonal metamorphoses is as subtle as the biology keeping nature turning
This week’s poem, “Finding the Keys”, is from Robin Robertson’s latest collection, Hill of Doors, just shortlisted for the latest TS Eliot prize. Symphonic in structure, interlaced with sinewy free-verse translations of extracts from Nonnus’s Dionysiaca and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the collection has many more doors than a single poem can unlock. But “Finding the Keys” adds potently earthy harmonics to the metaphysical mix, and seems a significant poem in an overall trajectory from turbulence to equilibrium – neither of which, of course, is uncontested, or less than complex.
The first complexity you might notice is of the punning kind. The seeds of the ash-tree are commonly known as “keys”. This sparks off a metaphorical infiltration of foliage by the locksmith’s gadgetry: “handles”, “hinges”, “key-holes”, “latches”. Metaphorical implications apart, these are descriptively suggestive, a fresh-minted visualisation of the clean-cut shapes of twigs and leaves against sky.
The separate descriptive summaries forming lines one and two of the opening couplet lack a finite verb. All four sections of the poem, in fact, are engineered to contrast this kind of vivid “jotting” with fully-formed short sentences, like the interplay of keys and locks. The device gives each trio of couplets a unique rhythmic pattern, in which punctuation (the placing of different degrees of silence) plays a finely judged role.
Winter metamorphoses swiftly into spring in the opening segment, and it seems no more than a hairsbreadth from the bulbs’ early shoots to the leafing trees, from anticipatory silence to the soft, excited sounds of life. The summoning of the deer perhaps helps us imagine how it might be to hear so acutely that we can pick up the “tick and crack” of opening buds. Energy is coiled in the verbal noun, “spur” (Dylan Thomas’s “green fuse” comes to mind) besides an image of sharp-tipped new foliage.
High summer illuminates the second section. The stony riverbed’s “small-change colours” are named in shiny metals that re-connect to locks and door-keys. There’s a preponderance of marvellous, fragmentary highlights throughout (“The long // spill of birdsong. Flowers, all/ turned to face the hot sky”) finally sealed with the simplest of simple sentences, “Nothing stirs”.
Clearly, to read the poem as a series of tableaux representing the four seasons would be to reduce it. Each segment describes transition, and each participates in a larger process of recurrence and change. The deer return in the next vignette, now making a seasonal disturbance of their own with “the woody clack of antlers”. Those despised parts-of-speech, adjectives, earn every bit of their space in this poem, and “woody” is a particularly evocative choice, uniting the deer with their natural element. Then there are the colour-words, denoting different tonal values and playing their own part in the poem’s negotiations between symmetry and asymmetry.
Pairs (“yellow and red”, “stone and pink”) both connect and disconnect. A single colour-word becomes an occasion. So when the “yellow and red” that signify the breaking down of carbohydrate in the still-living leaf mutate to “amber”, this is the end. In a day, the trees are “lanterned” – a transformation of noun into verb which conveys rapid transition. Then the lanterns themselves are “blown”. This is a particularly associative verb, opening up images of breakage: frail glass blown out, lightbulbs blown, high winds that sweep away everything but the “empty stars”. Again, the unit is carefully closed, this time with the beautifully cadenced anadiplosis of “Smoke in the air; the air turning”. The mid-line semicolon is perfect – and even looks like a keyhole.
Winter, no less than autumn, has its shifts and ambiguities. The first two couplets of the final segment are so “hinged” that both the clouds (rose and stone are cloud-tints) and the blackbird are implicated in the promise of snow. A colon asserts the bird’s separation, setting off the contrast of its immaculate symmetry with the bunched, untidy “victory of worms”. The syntax again becomes fragmented, and earlier images of regeneration are confirmed and developed: “The winged seed of the maple,/ the lost keys under the ash”. The last line, with a jolt of relief and optimism, finds the keys where they should be (and were, all along?) These keys will unlock the genetic code for new ash-trees. Perhaps, after “the many griefs of Autumn”, they also signify more-than-seasonal unlocking and rebirth.
Finding the Keys
The set seed and the first bulbs showing.
The silence that brings the deer.
The trees are full of handles and hinges;
you can make out keyholes, latches in the leaves.
Buds tick and crack in the sun, break open
slowly in a spur of green.
The small-change colours of the river bed:
these stones of copper, silver, gold.
The rock-rose in the waste-ground
finding some way to bloom. The long
spill of birdsong. Flowers, all
turned to face the hot sky. Nothing stirs.
That woody clack of antlers.
In yellow and red, the many griefs of autumn.
The dawn light through amber leaves
and the trees are lanterned, blown
the next day to empty stars.
Smoke in the air; the air, turning.
Under a sky of stone and pink
faring in from the north and promising snow:
In his beak, a victory of worms.
The winged seed of the maple,
the lost keys under the ash.
Thank you for seeing After Earth in theaters. We hope you enjoyed this awesome action-packed movie. Share this one proudly. It’s from our friends at Sony Pictures.
You rushed to the theater to see After Earth during opening weekend. Thank you for checking-in and enjoy the movie. Share this one proudly. It’s from our friends at Sony Pictures.
Pacific Rim’s Kaiju Battles Recreated entirely out of LEGO
Behold Guillermo del Toro’s glorious Kaiju creatures — recreated entirely out of LEGO. The Jaeger is even holding the giant boat!
Agents of Shield
I suppose I should give this show a little more time.
The latest episode was actually good, focus on the characters and it will get better. I just wish it wasn’t so predictable, and vanilla.
Perhaps I’ve watched to much Sons of Anarchy