The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday

The Otherness
By Linda Gregg

Of course there is the otherness,
right away inside you when
the doe steps carefully down
the embankment. Then clatter
of hoof and the dappled water
with leaf shade. The otherness
and the invisible until you came.


Another from Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in Sunday's Washington Post Book World. "Here the jabber of consciousness is changed by perceiving something out of the ordinary. The otherness of the natural tableau is 'right away inside you': The poem notes the parts of that setting: the hoof, its clatter, the dappled water, the leaf shade. And that naming of parts makes the scene alive, inside the poet, the thing that was invisible before she came to apprehend it."

We had a quiet Sunday morning -- in-laws went to church, we slept late and read the paper -- then had brunch and went to Gettysburg. It was so cold that we did almost no walking outdoors, just a bit around the cemetery; instead we watched the light show on the giant map showing the course of the battle, walked through the exhibits in the visitor center and drove around some of the areas with monuments. We had originally planned to do the driving tour of the battlefields with audiocassette, but that's two hours long, and after two hours in the visitor's center the kids were restless and we decided to save that for another cold or rainy day when we were up here. Instead we drove back slowly through Gettysburg itself, looking at the churches and buildings that were used as field hospitals and at David Wills' house, which is now a Lincoln museum, where Lincoln finished writing the Gettysburg Address.

Cannons on the lower level of the Gettysburg National Battlefield Visitor's Center.

The one in the middle is my favorite. What would make a cannon burst like this? I know a cannon can explode, but this midpoint melt? The sign didn't say.

The chess set of the major general popularly credited with inventing baseball! (Slightly out of focus because I haven't figured out the behind-glass depth of field thing yet.)

Watches found on the battlefield in the aftermath.

My kids were somewhat crazed in the evening; younger son had gone to the park in the morning while walking the dog, but I think they both got too little exercise, and there were shrieking arguments about whether to play Monopoly, Uno or a train card game and with whom...I am not sure my in-laws want us back any time soon. *g* They have pretty much had it with watching the Olympics and I must admit that I am hitting that point too. Tonight it became official that I no longer care about ice dance; there were some pretty moves but none of the couples moved me, and a lot of it looked like more flamboyant pairs skating without the dramatic lifts. I don't know how much can be blamed on the new scoring system and how much on skaters who, while creative with their moves, didn't seem all that inspired by their own programs. Torino looked lovely with the snow coming down as the Italian team got their medals but when I discovered that Bleak House was on here at the same time as it is at home, I eagerly changed the channel.

I am going to bawl next week at the conclusion, am I not? I was surprised that The Big Thing That Ended This Week's Episode happened this week instead of next -- I was expecting it to be part of the endgame -- but it still seems to late to help most of the people whose lives were being ruined and in order for either of my two favorite characters to have a happy ending, the other must get his or her heart broken! Woe! I am so bummed there is no more after the, tell me, should I read the book? I have always been terrible with the 19th century British novel, the American Modernist novel was my thing, though I loved Great Expectations...I must admit that I enjoyed the film version of A Tale of Two Cities and the stage version of Nicholas Nickleby more than the books. And Bleak House looks terribly intimidatingly long. Is it the kind of thing you can pick up and put down?

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