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

Poem for Monday


The Reassurance
By Thom Gunn


About ten days or so
After we saw you dead
You came back in a dream.
I'm all right now you said.

And it was you, although
You were fleshed out again:
You hugged us all round then,
And gave your welcoming beam.

How like you to be kind,
Seeking to reassure.
And, yes, how like my mind
To make itself secure.

--------

Another from Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World, a companion to the Fulke Greville poem which was edited for Selected Poems of Fulke Greville by Gunn. "In his last couple of books, Gunn wrote astringent, soulful and unsentimental poems about the years when AIDS killed many people he knew. This poem by Gunn can be read as a variation, perhaps a reversal, of Greville's poem...whereas the 16th-century poet Greville gives a reassuring, rational analysis of fear, the modern poet Gunn ends his poem with a sardonic, unsettling analysis of reassurance. The welcome hugs of his dream, where loss is restored, is an imagining...the lucid, rational mind acknowledging the power of the irrational -- the urgent realities that generate our dreams and nightmares."

Our Halloween week is in full swing. After younger son got home from Hebrew school, we went to Scott's Run to hike and see the leaves around the Potomac River, which were lovely. Because of all the rain we got late last week, the river was very high -- the spot where we usually stand and skip stones is completely submerged, and the waterfall is bigger and louder than it was this summer. Then we came home and started putting together the bookcases for our CDs, which activity was interrupted by younger son's violin recital. (I have been trying to get ahold of the woman who runs my pagan circle all week to ask her if I could come late to Samhain...sent e-mails, left phone messages, finally gave up on actual voice contact and decided I wouldn't get there till two hours late anyway, and am very bummed I could not go, as it was at beeej's and I haven't seen her in forever and she is a wonderful cook and her Halloween decorations are always awesome, and I was going to go with vertigo66 and didn't get to see her either, waah!)

The original plan for this recital was that it was going to be a few kids in the music teacher's living room. Then it became more kids and one of their families volunteered to host it. Then it was suggested that the kids come in costume if they wanted. Then the teacher offered to bring in platters for dinner (potluck was out of the question as the family hosting keeps very strict kosher...I don't think they celebrate Halloween, but they were willing to have chocolate covered pretzels, bagels and cream cheese, tuna sandwiches, cupcakes, etc. as long as everything came from a kosher bakery and grocery!) So it ended up being easily 60 people, probably more counting all the parents and siblings, in the enormous central area of an enormous home with gorgeous plants all over and the kids performing in the stairwell overlooking the family and living rooms, which are separated down the middle by a glass-enclosed fireplace. The kids ran the gamut from just started playing this September to All-State High School Orchestra, so we heard a very wide range of music and saw lots of hilarious costumes, and then crammed into the basement with the poor family dog in a crate because it had scared some of the younger siblings while everyone ate.


This is how a penguin looks tuning his violin for his recital.


And this is the performance space -- in the stairwell behind the banister. (The house was filled with magnificent Israeli art...I would have felt weird trying to take pictures of the walls, but some rooms looked like museum showcases.)


Here is the annual Scott's Run photo of my guys on the stepping stones over the creek (previous installments here, here and here. More photos of the park later in the week.


Cinnamon demonstrates the proper way to test the strength and stability of a new bookcase. Not that we had asked her for such assistance, mind, just as we had not asked Rosie to sit on the hardware while the bookcases were being put together, but they graciously volunteered their helpfulness.

Your Halloween Costume Should Be

A Flying Monkey


And speaking of Halloween, you all have seen the cat, er, targ here?</center>

I only got one article done today so must get work done tomorrow, plus organize CDs, rearrange the summer and winter clothes in my closet, clean up all the stuff that fell all over the dining room...and go see The Prestige with perkypaduan so I can write her a review of it for greenman_review. A great and noble sacrifice on my part, I know. *veg*
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