[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Poem

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 05:10:12 -0800

Well, David, I take it you are the one with the new pet and not David
Savory, but that was in a note attempting to figure out who was who from
inadequate information.  I forgot there were two David's here.  Or maybe
David Savory is no longer here in which case some here would have known
there was only one David as there is only one Ursula or Andreas, but not
someone who only recently returned. . . .

 

I've been thinking about your poem and quite a bit occurs to me but very
likely not enough: I take the key in the introductory stanza to suggest
random associations and that is what we find in the poem.  The word of God
is more powerful than a two edged sword, but the mind of man is merely
puzzling.  The mind drifts and there is no accounting (or at least no
accounting sufficient enough to satisfy an I.B. teacher) for the
associations that occur.  The subsequent five stanzas reflect the five
associations that epitomize the thought process of a seeker, a puzzler, is
continually presented with seemingly illogical associations.

 

In the first "pale" works two-edgedly to reflect a forgetting of what you
had learned in the past, the pale a dividing line of the past because not
only have you forgotten it, you have rejected it.  All that remains is an
inadequate vaguely unpleasant (pale) recollection of things you were taught,
the calculations you no longer believe in.  You could do these calculations,
that is, you believed the solutions you were taught during your
International Baccalaureate studies but there is no more mail because you
don't think in those terms any longer.  

 

Now you realize that they can't be "figured our" but instead are random.
You recall something about the astronaut Tom Jones and associate him with
the singer Tom Jones.  Perhaps Lulu Lloyd is that lulu of a puzzler, Lloyd
King who wrote Test Your Creative Thinking.  But 'send three and fourpence,
I'm going to ablute," spoken by a Lulu Lloyd is perhaps pretentious, putting
on airs while doing something mundane like washing.  But ablutions are more
than washing they have a sort of religious significance, cleansing and
sanctifying.  Going out into space and singing beautifully here on earth.

 

You look in the fish tank and the algae eaters remind you of goats going
from door to door, and if you go from door to door and interview the
inhabitants you will get nothing but garbage for they neither know nor do
anything of consequence.  

 

Then there is the pushing and shoving which you are subjected to and which
in the final analysis seem inexorable like an ice berg.  But if this could
stop, brake, instead of what it is more likely to do, break, you could put
your foot in the same river, the French river Lulu is washing in, twice.
You could have your cake and eat it two.

 

At last here comes the lovely violinist Anne-Sophie Tucker, not a trouper
but a trooper; although a trouper too having performed since she was a young
girl, bringing not policeman-type order but an artistic performance
epitomizing art which has its own satisfying order beyond anything learned
during the I.B. Years.  And she, this, is very satisfying and good, not a
solution that would satisfy an I.B. teacher perhaps but good nonetheless,
and not just good but all there is that is good.

 

Lawrence

 

-----Original Message-----
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of david ritchie
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2006 11:52 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Poem

 

Because "random" is currently your favorite word,

and the mind is more puzzling than the sword,

I've recorded what little in five minutes I heard.

 

First your homework calculations; they were just beyond my pale

recollection.  There is just no more mail

arriving from my I.B. years in Wales.

 

So then I recalled Major Tom, singing in his orbit suit,

and my teacher, Lulu Lloyd, on the bush telegraph,

"Send three and fourpence, I'm going to ablute."

 

In the tank I see the algae eaters and so

envision goats, going from door to door,

gobbling scowfuls of garbage.

 

Then, when push comes to shove,

it occurs to me that if ice floes were to brake,

a man could step on the Seine river twice, and eat cake.

 

Finally, here comes the lovely

Anne-Sophie Mutter, a trooper,

for goodness' sake.

 

David Ritchie

Portland, Oregon

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