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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Thursday, October 14, 2010


There is something puzzling about Facebook.
The recent movie about its founding
Has engendered critical reviews and
Questions about its place in social discourse.

As the initial function of informing "friends"
About one's current actions and activities
Has been largely replaced by Twitter,
A variety of uses have sprung up in Facebook.

Most harmless are the silly games,
Except that one's prowess at each
Is a bore to read in daily postings
For those totally uninterested.

Also tedious to be burdened with
Are the postings of young people
That are meaningless to others
Outside the group that they belong to.

More sinister are the solicitations
From nubile young women one does not know
To become their "friends"
For purposes unspecified.

Who befriends whom is a matter of conjecture
As to why one befriends someone else,
And why the rest of us should care,
When we don't know the potential friend at all.

Simply because one person is a friend of our friend,
Why are we invited to befriend him or her?
What then, does being a Facebook friend really mean?
What privileges and obligations does friendship entail?

Facebook has announced a plan
To enable members to form inner and outer groups of friends,
Which will perhaps remove some of the clutter
But leave open the question of what a Facebook friend is.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Autumn in New York

Thursday, the local train from Old Greenwich to Grand Central,
Passing all the old haunts along Long Island Sound.
Fixed a little dinner for grandniece Daisy Millard,
A new student at the School of Visual Arts.

Friday morning at the Metropolitan Museum
To see the Rockefeller primitive collection
And the massive Egyptian wing.
Lunch at the American Wing Cafe.

A little rest in the afternoon, then
Dinner at Basso56, which David introduced to us.
Walked down to the Gershwin Theater on 51st St.
To see a long-anticipated performance of "Wicked."

Did we like it? Well, yes and no.
The cast is lively, enthusiastic ... and young.
We couldn't understand the lyrics or the dialogue;
Nor can we yet figure out the plot.

Every musical number was sung at top volume,
With the words swallowed, as do all contemporary singers.
But the huge audiences raved and shouted.
So they must have appreciated what we missed.

A Saturday matinee at the Metropolitan Opera
Of "Les Contes d'Hoffman," one of my favorites.
I had seen the current production as an HD live broadcast,
But nothing compares with a live performance.

When Barbara found out the the New York City Ballet
Has a fall season at Lincoln Center,
We had to squeeze that into our schedule
On Saturday evening, a few hours later.

Fortified by P.J. Clarke's across Columbus Avenue,
And this time in the newly refurbished Koch Theater.
We saw two classical ballets by Balanchine,
And a modern dance by Jerome Robbins.

Having never seen this company before,
I was enchanted by the quality of the perfomances.
Maybe we will be able to see their "Nutcracker,"
When we are back in town over Christmas.

On Sunday, the main event at the Riverside Yacht Club,
Celebrating with a huge crowd of guests,
The Fiftieth Anniversary party for Sue and Frank Millard.
Barbara was the only attending bridesmaid.

We are fortunate to be able to use the Millard's
Little apartment off Columbus Circle.
After all the years we worked and studied there,
New York calls us back to enjoy her pleasures.