The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

Unknown Bird
By W.S. Merwin

Out of the dry days
through the dusty leaves
far across the valley
those few notes never
heard here before

one fluted phrase
floating over its
wandering secret
all at once wells up
somewhere else

and is gone before it
goes on fallen into
its own echo leaving
a hollow through the air
that is dry as before

where is it from
hardly anyone
seems to have noticed it
so far but who now
would have been listening

it is not native here
that may be the one
thing we are sure of
it came from somewhere
else perhaps alone

so keeps on calling for
no one who is here
hoping to be heard
by another of its own
unlikely origin

trying once more the same few
notes that began the song
of an oriole last heard
years ago in another
existence there

it goes again tell
no one it is here
foreign as we are
who are filling the days
with a sound of our own


Had a relatively quiet Monday catching up on stuff that didn't get done over the weekend, though I didn't catch up at all with my flist. Spent the morning writing articles on Alexander Siddig's new movie plans and the 24 supplement in EW, William Shatner's insistence that he'd rather work than the alternative and a UK report on NASA's inability to interest the 18-to-25-year-old crowd in manned spaceflight, which they believe is hurting both recruitment and the sort of public interest that keeps money coming in. Spent the afternoon watching bits of Rome while folding laundry, helping kids with homework, etc. because HBO has the entire first season On Demand this week and the new season starts Sunday and even though I convinced myself I didn't need to buy the expensive box set, I want good homemade DVDs so I was burning the first four and will get the rest tomorrow and Wednesday.

One of the remaining millstones at Seneca Creek State Park. As you can see, flowers were beginning to come up in the middle of it over the past weekend...what, doesn't that always happen the first week in January?

In the woods near one of the hiking trails are the ruins of Clopper Mill, from which the millstone came. There were several other mills on the properties that the park now encompasses, including the restored Black Rock Mill.

The area near the visitor center also has this log cabin originally built in 1855, one of the few remaining structures from the original Germantown. The park has invasive ivy growing over a lot of trees in this area, like the one in this photo.

After dinner we all watched West Side Story, which the kids had never seen, though they have seen parodies of it in various cartoons and the dancing in the Buffy musical. Younger son thought it was kind of a ripoff that they stole Romeo and Juliet -- I was trying to explain the idea of homage to him, but he was unimpressed until he found out the death count at the end was different, at which point I had to point out all the sources from which Shakespeare borrowed in turn. Now I'm afraid he thinks Rome is just a ripoff of Julius Caesar which in turn is a ripoff of Plutarch's Lives -- must do better explaining tomorrow. Older son was paying more attention to the construction of the dance/fight sequences and the singing. I was the only one who cried. *g* It feels very dated especially at the beginning -- the stylized dance moves give it a queer sensibility that totally undercuts the sense of menace I assume we're supposed to get from the gangs -- but once the story gets going (and Rita Moreno gets screen time), it's still fantastic.

And oh, yeah...happy SnapeDay!

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