The Wild Honey Suckle
By Philip Freneau
Fair flower, that dost so comely grow,
Hid in this silent dull retreat,
Untouch'd thy honey'd blossoms blow,
Unseen thy little branches greet:
No roving foot shall find thee here,
No busy hand provoke a tear.
By Nature's self in white array'd,
She bade thee shun the vulgar eye,
And planted here the guardian shade,
And sent soft waters murmuring by;
Thus quietly thy summer goes,
Thy days declining to repose.
Smit with these charms, that must decay,
I grieve to see thy future doom;
They died -- nor were those flowers less gay,
(The flowers that did in Eden bloom)
Unpitying frosts, and Autumn's power
Shall leave no vestige of this flower.
From morning suns and evening dews
At first, thy little being came:
If nothing once, you nothing lose,
For when you die you are the same;
The space between is but an hour,
The mere idea of a flower.
Another from Poet's Choice in Sunday's Washington Post Book World from the The Library of America's new anthology of early American poetry. Freneau was born in New Jersey and lived from 1752 to 1832. In the poem above, "The splendid last lines seem to foreshadow the resourceful, attentive intelligence of Robert Frost," writes Robert Pinsky. "Freneau, a contemporary and colleague of John Madison and Thomas Jefferson, is...a poetic ancestor whose work remains alive and vivid."
Adam still isn't feeling terrific so we weren't sure what to plan after Hebrew school. We toyed with the idea of taking the kids to see Elizabeth: The Golden Age, but they both had homework -- long-term projects to work on -- so after helping Adam set up a composting experiment using plastic soda bottles, knee-highs and yard clippings while Daniel worked on history, we went to Locust Grove, where Cabin John Creek wasn't quite as dry as the part of Rock Creek we walked along on Saturday but was still pretty low.
But the water levels are very low in the creek...
...so we couldn't skip stones very well, because there wasn't a lot of water to skip them over.
We had to stop at the food store and at the drugstore for a medicine dropper for the composting experiment, then when we got home I had to take photos of various parts of the experiment for documentation. Had dinner and watched Children of Men, which I'd missed in the theater, one of the bleakest movies I've ever seen and I wasn't crazy about some of the changes from the book (more with this one than with my two favorite Cuaron films, A Little Princess and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, though I like those two books much better). The acting is excellent -- Julianne Moore always is and I wish she'd had a larger role, and I liked Clive Owen a lot too -- but I enjoy sci-fi dystopia and this one was a bit much even for me. Even so, it was a good lead-in for Brotherhood, which seemed less brutal than usual. Plus Jason Isaacs and Annabeth Gish are always fantastic.
Book meme, gacked from several people:
Three books that have marked your childhood:
- A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- Anthem by Ayn Rand
...and your teenagehood:
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- Paradise Lost by John Milton
- My Thirty Years' War by Margaret Anderson
Your three favorite books (only 3, even if it's hard!):
- The Tempest by William Shakespeare
- Firekeeper by Pattiann Rogers
- The Thirteen Gun Salute by Patrick O'Brian
Three books you could read again and again without growing weary of it:
- Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman
- Charades by Janette Turner Hospital
- The Dead and the Living by Sharon Olds
Three books you've read or are reading recently:
- Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
- Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
- Streets in their Own Ink by Stuart Dybek
Three books that you'll read soon:
- Penguins and Golden Calves by Madeleine L'Engle
- The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
- The Expected One by Kathleen McGowan
And one special, fetish book that you'd keep with yourself all the time:
- Illusions by Richard Bach
Tomorrow we have the cleanup people coming to remove the fans -- finally! -- and the contractor coming to tell us the bad news. Sigh.