The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday

Has My Heart Gone to Sleep?
By Antonio Machado
Translated by Alan S. Trueblood

Has my heart gone to sleep?
Have the beehives of my dreams
stopped working, the waterwheel
of the mind run dry,
scoops turning empty,
only shadow inside?

No, my heart is not asleep.
It is awake, wide awake.
Not asleep, not dreaming --
its eyes are opened wide
watching distant signals, listening
on the rim of the vast silence.


From Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World, this week on Caroline Kennedy's new anthology A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children, of which Pinsky says, "The editor shows great respect for children by choosing real poems and including Edward Lear, A.A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter de la Mare -- the first-class poets for children." Selections include Dickinson's "'Hope' is the thing with feathers," Wordsworth's "Daffodils," Shakespeare's song for Ariel from The Tempest, Blake's "The Tyger" and other favorites from my own childhood (I hope Millay's "Renascence" is in there). Adds Pinsky, "This book is a gift for the adults who read it to or with children, as well as for the children. That fact is epitomized by the decision to close with Wallace Stevens's great, quiet poem 'The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm'...the quiet, impish, commanding voice of poetry can be heard in this selection of poems 'for' children but -- happily -- not only for children."

It was raining this morning and soccer was cancelled, so we dropped plans to meet my in-laws at Gambrill and Washington Monument State Parks and instead met them at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, where the Circus exhibit had a live demonstration of sword swallowing and juggling with fire by Philip DePalo. The exhibit itself had a lot of hands-on aspects, low-level tightrope walking and balancing and juggling and costumes; oddly, our kids who used to love gymnastics birthday parties refused to try either the trapeze or the high-wire despite the fact that everyone was strapped into safety harnesses like the ones they wear at climbing parties. Older son is at the age where he is almost-too-old to consider any of this cool and appeared aware that most of the kids there were younger than him, though he was pleased to get all the dirty jokes from the juggler that went over the head of the younger audience. *g* Since we were in the museum we also went through the bay ecology and astronomy exhibits, then saw the planetarium show Entertaining Einstein on Einstein's contributions to science which was quite informative for an ignoramus like me who only has the faintest understanding of Brownian motion.

From the upper level of the science center at the Chesapeake Bay exhibit, we watched the ships in the harbor and I spotted the skipjack Nathan of Dorchester which had been visiting the week before to take in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. Then, as we were walking to Harborplace for dinner, there on the other side of the dock where the Clipper City picks up passengers was the Mystic Whaler, which had not yet arrived for the race the last time we were in Baltimore! My in-laws are very familiar with this ship because they lived in Connecticut for many years and went sailing with friends in the Mystic River where they often saw her. I had been disappointed when we saw the Virginia and Sultana not to see the Mystic Whaler and Nathan of Dorchester, both of which were scheduled to be in town, so I was very happy. We also learned the race results: the Mystic Whaler finished third in her class to the Liberty Clipper of Boston and the Virginia of Norfolk, both ships we have been aboard (we sailed on the Liberty Clipper when we were in New England last summer). Sultana, another ship we have been aboard several times, finished fifth.

Dinner at City Lights was fabulous -- crab soup, caesar salad and seafood crepes for me, most of the others had crab cakes, younger son had coconut shrimp -- and the White Sox won the first game of the World Series! Not bad for a day in which we got thoroughly soaked by an unexpected evening rainstorm on the way back to the car and drove home in drenched clothes, eating Hanover chocolates for consolation! *g* Tonight you get ship photos; I'll save the fire-eating, juggling, tightropes and Bay life for during the week.

Mystic Whaler docked next to Clipper City in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

She appeared to be getting ready to depart; the crew was milling about in orange life vests.

Here's a full view of this very pretty windjammer.

The white ship to the far right rear by the tent is the Nathan of Dorchester. I believe that the one to its left with the green trim is the Lady Maryland, a Chesapeake Bay pungy schooner which finished fourth behind the Liberty Clipper, Virginia and Mystic Whaler in the schooner race. (The red lighthouse to the far left is Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse -- oldest surviving screw-pile lighthouse that operated on the Chesapeake Bay -- built in 1856 to mark the Seven Foot Knoll shoal, now a part of the Baltimore Maritime Museum.)

USS Constellation at twilight just before the skies opened up, just because she's pretty and so is the new Australia wing of the National Aquarium around the inner harbor behind her.

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