The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Saturday


A child said, What is the grass?
By Walt Whitman


A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
        hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
        is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
        green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we
        may see and remark, and say Whose?
Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
        of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
        zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
        from offspring taken soon out of their mother's laps,
And here you are the mother's laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
        mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
        for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
        and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
        taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
        children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
        at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
        luckier.

--------

I had a quiet morning of taking care of more computer stuff, putting photos on my MDA and burning CDs of music and pictures for relatives. Then I wrote the TrekToday site columns and a review of "Obsession", which really plays much better than it should, given the utter silliness of its sci-fi premise. It's one of Kirk's most problematic episodes, and having spent the last two years obsessed with Patrick O'Brian, the very naval character of the service seemed so much more significant to me, particularly when Kirk accuses the crew of conspiring against him and needs the ship's doctor not to question his mental state. His intuition ends up being right (as Jack Aubrey's nearly always does, too), but wow, what risks he takes.

And I spent two hours tonight finally, finally watching Doctor Who! I saw part of the first episode when we were in England last spring and have been waiting and waiting...I can't watch Region 2 discs on my DVD player (I know, I've tried) and I get headaches when I try to watch jiggling .avi files on my computer screen, so I had no choice but to wait. Now I am very happily sated, totally in love with Rose (I knew I would be -- she's so very real and non-glam and funny). The Night of the Department Store Dummies, a perfect combination of camp and serious, made me very nostalgic for London, and It's the End of the World As We Know It (yes, I know that these are not the real titles) manages to be great fun and rather sad and thoughtful at the same time. I never got into any of the first several iterations of Doctor Who but I knew even from the bit I saw last year that I was going to love this one with its smart sexy writing and the lovely Mr. Eccleston.

In between we had dinner with my parents. My father is still in quite a bit of pain and they are now looking at possible neurological causes, a pinched nerve or something spinal, because there is no evidence of any kind of blockage in his gall bladder or pancreas but there is some inflammation. He can't really get comfortable and is not a happy camper.

This week's fridayfiver and thefridayfive are about which movie and TV characters are most like me and who should star in the movie of my life...meh, I can't really think of any. And fannish5 is why I love or hate meta-fannish discussion...I hate it when it reminds me of the academic bullshit, the worship of pedantry and time spent agonizing over trivia, so I don't often read it, but that has more to do with my background as a student of literature and popular culture than meta itself, so I think people should meta away and I will simply not read it unless it really speaks to me.








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Penn lost. And since Maryland didn't make the tournament, I can officially not care! *g* Plus Letterman just made a joke about Osama Bin Laden trying to sell his kidney stone for $25,000. Mwahaha, Shatner is everywhere!
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