No Worst, There Is None
By Gerard Manley Hopkins
No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief
Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing--
Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked "No ling-
ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief".
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
Another from Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World, a poem that the critic says "illustrate[s] how poetry has resources that resemble -- and create -- the expressive tones of voice that people use every day."
We spent nearly all of Sunday at the Cincinnati Zoo, which has a wide variety of penguins -- Rockhopper, King and Magellanic inside the bird exhibit Little Blue outside and African in the bird show, so it was our largest single-day total of penguins. At 10 a.m. they had a feeding and Q&A with a zookeeper, so we had to get up earlier than I would have liked, but we had the place practically to ourselves and unlike other zoos and aquariums we've been at, these penguins are fed live fish for which they must dive in the water, so it was entertaining getting to watch them hunt! Cincinnati's zoo is enormous, and there are botanic gardens as well, so we were there for a long time -- we went before lunch to a bird show that was part comedy routine as the parrots showed off that they had been trained to steal water bottles, talk, pull on ropes, etc., and part display of how the hawks and eagles (all injured and unable to survive in the wild) have been trained to fly within the arena without trying to escape. There was an African penguin trained to run across the stage and dive into the water, and an alligator trained to chase one of the keepers that had a rubber baby alligator with which he teased one of the birds, so we all enjyed this a lot.
This zoo also has manatees, koalas, kangaroos and some of the more exotic animals that we don't have at the National Zoo, plus a lorikeet landing, a petting zoo with little goats and sheep, several excellent Great Ape enclosures, a reptile house, a superb houseful of Great Cats including many varieties of the smaller ones we don't have in DC, an Amazon exhibit, a nocturnal exhibit, several varieties of bats and an awesome insect display. It was very nice early in the day since we got there at about 9:15 in the morning, though by the time we left at 3:30 it was both hot and more crowded. We drove to Louisville and cooked spaghetti in our hotel room.
In the evening we had intended to go to a free outdoor performance of As You Like It in a Louisville park, but younger son -- who had already had a long day, six hours walking around a zoo -- broke his penguin squishy and was beside himself after dinner so we ended up deciding just to go swimming at the hotel's pool. This Quality Inn is by far the grungiest hotel we've stayed in (has one of those showers that wavers between "DAMN that's cold!" and "SHIT that's hot!") but ironically it has the best pool, heated and large and empty save ourselves for nearly the entire time we were there. We read nearly to the end of Over Sea, Under Stone and did some necessary laundry.
Inside the bird house, a pair of Rockhopper penguins...
...and one in a crowd of King penguins (all of whom had names like BB King, Burger King, et al).
Big beautiful fruit bats.
Fluffy gray baby flamingos behind the pink parents.
Monkeys showing off their Tarzan skills.
Meanwhile an orangutan has found a way to beat the heat.
Siegfried and Roy, the zoo's gay lions. Er, or maybe it was that Siegfried and Roy gave the lions to the zoo and the licking one another was incidental.
I actually had so many penguin pictures that I posted more to penguinpics than I did here! Monday we're going to Churchill Downs and the Louisville Zoo, then Mammoth Cave National Park, so another nature and animal-ful day! I owe about 100 comments; it's hopeless!