Friday, November 02, 2012

The Prettiest Ophelia Is An Asteroid

8347 Lallaward (1987 HK)

Classification: Main-belt Asteroid SPK-ID: 2008347

Discovered 1987 Apr. 21 by C. S. Shoemaker and E. M. Shoemaker at Palomar.

Lalla Ward (b. 1951) is a British stage, film and TV actress and artist. She played Ophelia in the BBC TV production of Hamlet (1980) and is best known for her work as Romana, a companion of "Dr. Who" in the British series of the same name. She is the wife of writer Richard Dawkins.

Ward was in a relationship with her co-star Tom Baker whilst working on Doctor Who, and they lived together in a flat in Deptford. The couple married in December 1980, but the marriage lasted only sixteen months. Ward attributed the separation to work commitments, different lifestyles and conflicts of interest.

Ward said in 2004 that her long friendship with Douglas Adams, with whom she worked on Doctor Who, meant more to her and was "more valuable and more enduring" than her marriage to Baker. In 1992, at his 40th birthday party, Adams introduced her to his friend Richard Dawkins (biologist and author of such books as The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and, later, The God Delusion). Ward and Dawkins married later that year.

Aside from acting, her other talents include book illustration, and she is particularly adept at sketching animals. One example of this was the 1985 Shell Calendar, which features embroidered pictures of sea birds. Ward also illustrates Dawkins's books, and has also been known to help create material for his lectures.

“Lalla Ward”
at Wikipedia

The prettiest Ophelia is an asteroid
between the red planet Mars and ochre Jupiter,
much smaller than both of those planets named after gods
but so much more real than a name from an ancient myth,
a real woman, artist, actress, a loved companion.

The prettiest Ophelia is an asteroid
orbiting around the Sun more slowly than the Earth
as if she’s a figure in a Morisot painting,
peaceful in a park on the outskirts of a city
but looking at the city, the hectic rushing crowds.

The prettiest Ophelia is an asteroid
always above us now but she’s still here with us, too,
as if she’s a figure in a Morisot painting,
a real woman, artist, actress, a loved companion,
something from Shakespeare walking offstage to us smiling.

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