It’s Saturday morning and I haven’t written my blog yet. I was looking through the drafts and found this. I can’t believe I haven’t posted it yet. Have I? Who knows? I write things and then forget about them. I’m old.
I am preparing to move to Ireland some time next year and there’s a lot of sorting to be done. Sorting through books is a terrible task. I must decide what to keep, what to sell, and what to give away. I must try really hard not to stop and read.
That doesn’t work very well.
I just went through my poetry collection.
“A Primer for Buford” Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel needs reading, but I don’t have time right now. But… I will share this one with you:
REMEMBERING A CAT’S FUNERAL, 1926
My brother Harol could walk on water and knew protocol at seven
He put tissue paper over a comb and played a dirge for Andrew Jackson
led the cortege up Post Oak Hill where we laid poor Andrew down in a cracker box.
And then, there’s “Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle… and other modern verse” edited by Stephen Dunning, Edward Lueders, and Hugh Smith. This book was a Christmas present from a family I babysat for in 1969. This book has traveled with me from California to Wyoming, to Oregon, Ireland, and back to California. It will be back in Ireland soon.
ADVICE TO TRAVELERS
A burro once, sent by express, His shipping ticket on his bridle, Ate up his name and his address, And in some warehouse, standing idle, He waited till he like to died. The moral hardly needs the showing: Don’ keep things locked up deep inside — Say who you are and where you’re going.
A picture book, illustrated by Beth Peck, but not for children. “The Ballad of the Harp Weaver” by Edna St. Vincent Millay is too sad.
Men say the winter Was bad that year; Fuel was scarce, And food was dear.
A wind with a wolf’s head Howled at the door, And we burned up the chairs And sat upon the floor.
I had a boyfriend once who referred to Millay as “some girl.” That “girl” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1923. That boyfriend didn’t last long. He was rather pretentious anyway.
Last, but certainly not least, is “An Introduction to Haiku” with translations and comments by Harold G. Henderson.
Clouds come from time to time / and bring to men a chance to rest / from looking at the moon.
This is by far my favorite haiku. It speaks to me. I know that’s a little trite, but it’s the truth.
I bought this book at the Stanford University Bookstore in Palo Alto, probably in 1966. I went on a field trip with my drama class to see “The Sound of Music,” which I enjoyed. But the highlight of the trip was finding this book.
And, by the way, I don’t know why the poems are all spaced out on here. That’s not what they look like on the draft.