Undiscovered Footnotes to The Waste Land (also, April Meetup)

(See details of the April meetup in the sidebar of this website. Hope to see you there! We’re going to talk about documentation for mobile devices this time.)

April is the cruellest month1, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain2.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow3, feeding
A little life with dried tubers4.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain5; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour6.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch7.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened.8 He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.9
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night10, and go south in the winter11.

1This product release is going to be brutal. Glad we have a PDX DITA meeting a week before to break up the agony.
2Unless it’s awesome! This time, maybe there will be no typos and the programmers will have told us everything that changed!
3Oh dammit. That module no one has touched since last December.
4Well, perhaps not so little anymore given our diet of breakroom potato chips.
5Quelle surprise. You say you live in Portland?
6Those product managers will talk your ear off. But they paid for the coffee at least.
7No, we don’t have a Lithuanian translation yet, but please check with Sales for an update on our future i18n road map.
8Even in childhood, many technical writers are drawn to low-risk situations and fear lack of control.
9That wild sensation of careening toward the future that is unleashed when you press Enter after typing an ant command.
10Build logs, mostly. But sometimes Kant, or the 50 Shades series.
11Totally springing for the campsite with the showers this year.

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About Marya DeVoto

Documentarian and DITA evangelist at AppNexus, a Xandr company; formerly Documentation Manager at Jive Software. Interested in practical and impractical information schemes, the social Internet, peace, love, understanding and dactylic hexameters.

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