By John Clare
The hedgehog hides beneath the rotten hedge
And makes a great round nest of grass and sedge
Or in a bush or in a hollow tree
And many often stop and say they see
Him roll and fill his prickles full of crab[s]
And creep away; and where the magpie dabs
His wing at muddy dyke in aged root
He makes a nest and fills it full of fruit
On the hedge bottom hunts for crabs and sloes
And whistles like a cricket as he goes.
It rolls up like a ball or shapeless hog
When gypsies hunt it with their noisy dogs.
I've seen it in their camps they call it sweet
Though black and bitter and unsavoury meat.
Another from Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in the Sunday Washington Post Book World, a companion to "Caught" which I posted yesterday. Pinsky finds that that poem reminds him of Clare's poem above in "the way it is somehow both intimate and detached. Attention itself, in these poems -- one recent and one written nearly two centuries ago -- seems by its patient intensity to break down distinctions between objective and subjective: between 'identification' as taxonomy and as a feeling."
My day was entirely taken up with taking my son to a meeting with the other kids in his science group at school (and shopping in Target and other places in that area, which is right around the corner from where I lived when I was six and under -- we went right past my old street), cobbling together two necessary articles for Trek Nation, and spending several hours socializing, eating and watching the Eagles blow it. Not that I really cared; I was nominally rooting for them because of the player who went to my high school but my husband and in-laws were all rooting for the Patriots, and I bet on the Patriots (the party we went to has a $1 per person mandatory bet, total score and winning team) so that I had a chance of being content either way. The total score I picked was much too high, but who expected a first half with so few points on the board? My major disappointment was that there were no really wonderful commercials this year, though I did squee in an embarrassing manner when the Christian Bale Batman ad came on. And I enjoyed McCartney at halftime a lot -- three Beatles and one Bond song -- despite the endless sneaking Nascar promotion.
My friend whose family throws the party, whom I have known since first grade, is just getting over a really horrendous couple of weeks. She was in a car accident caused by ice and snow in which a bus skidded and crashed into her car, from which she escaped with only a sprained wrist, but she had plans to go to Cancun two days later and the night she got there, she developed acute appendicitis (which could conceivably have been triggered by the accident though she's a pediatrician and she doubts it). She had to have surgery in a foreign hospital where English was not the primary language, which terrified her, and then fly home, still unable to walk on her own for more than a few steps. I am amazed they had the party anyway! But it was wonderful, with tons of food as always (I had four different kinds of hot wings, chocolate covered pretzels and cheese sticks; my kids had subs, eclairs, too much soda and I don't want to know what else they went and got when I wasn't looking). We are among the very few of the nearly 100 people who attend -- parents, kids and grandparents, including two other people I went to high school with and their spouses and families -- who actually want to watch the game, so I did not get to socialize as much as I otherwise would have liked!
The kids' shoes by the front door at the Superbowl party. This reflects only perhaps a third of the total shoes that passed through the house. Most people come between an hour before game time and kickoff and leave at halftime or just after to get the kids home to be ready for school the next day.
Two pieces of Harry Potter art by women I love dearly: Daniel Radcliffe by Kim Schultz (scroll down the page to the section where she has the newest artwork) and Sibyll Trelawney by mamadracula. Please lavish thanks on them so they keep drawing folk from this universe! *g*
And regarding my post from the morning about movies, spoilers and controversies: several of the people who commented left links to interesting articles about the film in question and to resource sites for viewers and parents who want to be spoiled about potentially upsetting material before going to see a film. I really did not mean to suggest that I thought anything should be censored and spoiled for the public at large; I was more pleading for some sort of official notification site to go along with the ratings, because a PG or PG-13 can be almost meaningless when it comes to "mature themes" and upsetting issues that aren't directly violent or sexual. Sorry if I offended anyone, but my feelings about not wanting to see the film in question have not changed.