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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 12, 2024

Winding down 'The Winter's Tale'

When your spirits are high and the whole world glazes over with mystic sparkles you swear are actually magical and not just spring dew, slap yourself in the face. Harder. 

 

 

 

Luckily, there's no such thing as magic in this world. 

 

 

 

Of course, the Bard would disagree. The real \Winter's Tale"" is one of a prophetic oracle and a jealous king. In his story, a hot-tempered King Leo believed his wife was messing around with his best friend, and consequently he was not his baby's daddy. The enraged king dropped the newborn in a field, where a shepherd found and raised her for 16 years. 

 

 

 

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Then, the magic. Many years after his tale aired on the Jerry Springer show, Leo learned that an oracle had proved him wrong. He was his baby's daddy, and he felt pretty crummy. Realizing his error, Leo swallowed his pride and invited his daughter and best friend back into his life. 

 

 

 

Bill's happy ending made me wonder if I needed magic in my life, or if Leo would have just benefited from a more efficient paternity test. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I shall chance to think of things magic, 

 

 

 

A glittering force to answer when I worry,  

 

 

 

Had I an oracle to steer me from times tragic 

 

 

 

Would I have fallen for a UW student of philosophy? 

 

 

 

O'ertaken was I with the scent of his skin 

 

 

 

And how guitar strings giggled under his thumb 

 

 

 

Long ago, when he stretched my days thin 

 

 

 

So drunk with love, I was struck dumb 

 

 

 

'Tis wrong however, to love a philosopher 

 

 

 

Had I an oracle, I would have known 

 

 

 

He was consumed by logic, cold at the core 

 

 

 

As he doubted existence, even my own. 

 

 

 

Had I a third-party warning sign, 

 

 

 

I could have twisted fate's path out of line. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I liked the idea of a magic harbinger. I also felt for King Leo. His pregnant wife flirted with his buddy incessantly. Add that to having another mouth to feed in a $7 million Sicilian castle, and you're under some pressure. He just overreacted, and he deserved a little outside help from magic. My life could have used some. 

 

 

 

But I had to slap myself in the face and reconsider. 

 

 

 

How could I identify with someone who can't admit fault without a crystal ball? Failure is too precious to be dismissed, and its analysis too important to trust with a magician. 

 

 

 

Perhaps the best part of mistakes, whether it's trying to make a boyfriend out of a philosophy major or dumping a newborn in an open field, is turning the situation around. Without magic. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can't help but act in both joy and terror 

 

 

 

To weave into the world impassioned thoughts 

 

 

 

Of good and bad, that makes us unfold error 

 

 

 

We tie the world up in seamless knots.  

 

 

 

Some cannot muse without support, 

 

 

 

So if you refuse to forfeit enchantment 

 

 

 

Feeling your own sights too short  

 

 

 

Consider yourself your own, plain magic. 

 

 

 

No supernatural crescent hangs overhead 

 

 

 

The problems we knit belong to us 

 

 

 

We prick with needles, mend with thread  

 

 

 

In only ourselves, we must trust. 

 

 

 

Forget oracles, soothsayers and stars aligned, 

 

 

 

You don't need an excuse to change your mind. 

 

 

 

ewinter@wisc.edu. 

 

 

 

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