The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday and Renfaire Fun

The Fish, the Man, and the Spirit
By Leigh Hunt

To a Fish

You strange, astonished-looking, angle-faced,
   Dreary-mouthed, gaping wretches of the sea,
   Gulping salt-water everlastingly,
Cold-blooded, though with red your blood be graced,
And mute, though dwellers in the roaring waste;
   And you, all shapes beside, that fishy be, -
   Some round, some flat, some long, all devilry,
Legless, unloving, infamously chaste: -

O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights,
   What is't ye do? What life lead? eh, dull goggles?
How do ye vary your vile days and nights?
   How pass your Sundays ? Are ye still but joggles
In ceaseless wash? Still nought but gapes, and bites,
   And drinks, and stares, diversified with boggles?

A Fish Answers

Amazing monster! that, for aught I know,
   With the first sight of thee didst make our race
   For ever stare! O flat and shocking face,
Grimly divided from the breast below!

Thou that on dry land horribly dost go
   With a split body and most ridiculous pace
   Prong after prong, disgracer of all grace,
Long-useless-finn'd, haired, upright, unwet, slow!

O breather of unbreathable, sword-sharp air,
   How canst exist? How bear thyself, thou dry
And dreary sloth? What particle canst share
   Of the only blessed life, the watery?
I sometimes see of ye an actual pair
   Go by! linked fin by fin! most odiously.

The Fish Turns Into A Man, And Then Into A Spirit, And Again Speaks

Indulge thy smiling scorn, if smiling still,
   O man! and loathe, but with a sort of love;
   For difference must itself by difference prove,
And, in sweet clang, the spheres with music fill.
   One of the spirits am I, that at their will
   Live in whate'er has life - fish, eagle, dove -
No hate, no pride, beneath nought, nor above,
A visiter of the rounds of God's sweet skill.

Man's life is warm, glad, sad, 'twixt loves and graves,
   Boundless in hope, honoured with pangs austere,
Heaven-gazing; and his angel-wings he craves: -
   The fish is swift, small-needing, vague yet clear,
A cold, sweet, silver life, wrapped in round waves,
   Quickened with touches of transporting fear.


On Friday it was just as horribly hot as Thursday. I have no energy in weather like this, and I lost an enormous amount of my day when Daniel installed our new, (supposedly) improved router, which works fine with my laptop but which my desktop absolutely refused to acknowledge until about 20 reconfigurations, new drivers, reboots, altered settings, etc. About the only other thing I got done was a review of Deep Space Nine's "Rules of Engagement" which I couldn't post till evening due to the router wrangling.

After school, Adam ran an eight-mile Burrito Run in which everyone races to Chipotle, eats a burrito, and runs back, so he ended up collapsing early in the evening right after dinner. The rest of us watched the first two episodes of the second season of Case Histories, the terrific Jason Isaacs show set in Scotland that always depresses me -- lots of death even in stories that don't start out being about murders, and it's like he needs to be around other people's pain because he can't cope with his own, but the acting is phenomenal. Some more of the Virginia Renfaire:


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