The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday

Malleus, Incus, Stapes
By Katrina Roberts

Six months in utero
my boy's bones begin in middle ear
to harden so sound can conduct:

hammer, anvil, stirrup --
the three smallest of bones though names conjure
bulk and heft (metaphors

make miracles visible)
-- thought's farriers; a word's trickle or timpanic
blow means bones to strike,

taut membranes struck
and that which gently cups beneath to let
language gallop -- so sense,

though not yet his, may be
conveyed. Heartbeats like hooves. I whisper, "Listen!
symphonic we're waiting for you.


"Metaphors, symbols and myths are not arcane distortions, peculiar to poetry," writes Robert Pinsky in Poet's Choice in Sunday's Washington Post Book World. "They are part of thought and speech, sometimes buried like the fact that focus is Latin for a hearth, and sometimes as explicit as the names for hardware: an elbow, or a male-to-female connector. Katrina Roberts considers the ripples of significance surrounding the names for tiny bones in the ear...the associations of horsemanship and hammering express both wonder and anxiety."

Again on Sunday, Daniel went to robotics at high school and Adam went to Hebrew school -- this time for class as opposed to volunteering. I spent the morning trying to finish a post I've been trying to write for nearly a week now, still not nearly as coherently as I wanted, and I managed to hurt people's feelings even though I was trying to ask how to talk about stuff without doing so, so I pretty much feel like I suck right now but it's my own fault. After lunch we took Adam and his best friend to Great Falls, which was really fun because Adam's friend had never been and was very excited about everything from the ice on the C&O Canal to the little whirlpools in the Potomac River. Here are some photos (more Williamsburg tomorrow):

The ice on the C&O Canal, nearly thick enough to skate on in places but dangerously thin in others and nonexistent in the sunniest spots.

The ducks in the canal appeared to be enjoying the sunshine and were eating something off the bottom -- I've no idea what's growing at this time of year but they seemed to like it.

In the woods on the road to the park, we saw easily ten deer, maybe more. There was also evidence beside the canal that the deer had been in the park very recently.

There was ice in the Potomac River too, though mostly clinging to rocks above the falls around Olmsted Island.

The main branch of the river appeared to be flowing smoothly.

But a tree that came down the falls was blocking this tributary...

...exposing the concrete spillway below, like a couple of years ago when another river-made dam blocked it up.

After dinner we watched The Simpsons because I got a note last week from my very good personal friend Weird Al telling me that he would be on the episode (Weird Al starts all his e-mails "Dear Very Good Personal Friend of Al"), then watched Mansfield Park on PBS. It was quite pretty and Billie Piper was quite good -- about on par with everyone else in the production, though I didn't think the production overall was on par with the BBC's Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion. Though I did get a kick out of the Mansfield and Commander-ness of it with James D'Arcy and Joseph Morgan in major roles. I have nothing profound to say about it, except that I really don't find Austen as socially progressive as professors and Masterpiece Theatre hosts alike keep telling me that she is, and I never really fall for her heroines, though I often fall hard for her heroes' houses. Which conveniently the heroines get along with the men. I know, I'm a bad feminist, no biscuit and all that.

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