The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday

A Garden by the Sea
By William Morris

I know a little garden-close,
Set thick with lily and red rose,
Where I would wander if I might
From dewy morn to dewy night,
And have one with me wandering.

And though within it no birds sing,
And though no pillared house is there,
And though the apple-boughs are bare
Of fruit and blossom, would to God
Her feet upon the green grass trod,
And I beheld them as before.

There comes a murmur from the shore,
And in the close two fair streams are,
Drawn from the purple hills afar,
Drawn down unto the restless sea:
Dark hills whose heath-bloom feeds no bee,
Dark shore no ship has ever seen,
Tormented by the billows green
Whose murmur comes unceasingly
Unto the place for which I cry.
For which I cry both day and night,
For which I let slip all delight,
Whereby I grow both deaf and blind,
Careless to win, unskilled to find,
And quick to lose what all men seek.

Yet tottering as I am and weak,
Still have I left a little breath
To seek within the jaws of death
An entrance to that happy place,
To seek the unforgotten face,
Once seen, once kissed, once reft from me
Anigh the murmuring of the sea.


There's no point in talking about my day before 5 p.m because I spent it waiting for the plumber. Who was supposed to arrive at noon. And then at three. And then at four. I said, no point in talking about it. The kids had no school and alternated between playing games here, playing games at a friend's house and playing outside on this first really cool day of the fall. Adam was up from about 7 a.m. like I was, Daniel slept till 10, I worked on holiday card notes and rearranged my summer and winter clothes in my closet and wrote a review of "A Matter of Honor", the enormously entertaining Next Gen episode in which Riker takes an assignment on a Klingon ship.

No surprise whatsoever here, but we will not be seeing my sister and her husband again this trip: after going downtown with their oldest daughter, they took off to stay in a hotel in Georgetown, leaving the girls with my parents, and will meet up at the airport tomorrow. We had dinner with my parents and all the kids and had a very nice that the two older girls are movie- and game-literate, it doesn't matter to my boys so much that they also like Hannah Montana and Dora the Explorer and the Spiderwick books (apparently little has changed since I was young and it is still cool for girls to like "boy" books but totally uncool for boys to like "girl" stuff in middle school, sigh).

Only thefridayfive this week: Your Insights About You
As we head into the holiday season full tilt & people start thinking about their lives over the past year, including the changes/resolutions they may choose to make, I thought this would be a great set of questions to consider...
1. What is your favorite experience in your life so far?
Being in England with my family.
2. What motivates you to keep going every day? I love being around my kids. I also love reading and traveling and art and music and science and when people do really surprising, awesome things.
3. Where do you want to go in life? What do you want to accomplish? I'm kind of at a crossroads so far as work is concerned. I can't decide whether I should look for something that pays next to nothing but feels really useful to me, like working with kids or something activist/political, or whether I should knuckle down and get a job that pays decently and worry about contributing more financially.
4. Is there anything that you regret? Do you try to change it? I'm not big on regrets, though I have lots of little ones, mostly about relationships I didn't work hard enough on. Some of those I try to change. Some of those I've had to learn painfully that there's really nothing I can do.
5. What is your most cherished gift you have received? Why do you cherish it so much? An academic secretary once showed me a recommendation I had received from someone whose opinion meant the world to me. She wasn't really supposed to let me see it. There's nothing that could have made me happier at the time.

Georgetown University and the boathouse on the Potomac River, seen from the footbridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Trees reflected in one of the island's fountains.

Each day the trees look a bit less like these and a bit more bare.

That does make it easier to see wildlife, at least.

When we visited, this fountain had already been drained for the winter.

And leaves are already beginning to clog the basins that have water in them.
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