Thursday, May 04, 2006

Poetry Thursday

I have to go and help post a couple of hundred copies of Takahe magazine. Before I go, here is my contribution to Poetry Thursday for this week. This one seemed to fit in with my current reading, which is Temple Grandin's "Animals in Translation". It (the book, not the poem) discusses how animals think and see the world, and compares it to how most people thik, and how autistic people think. Temple's earlier book was "Thinking in Pictures". She views words as her second language. She translates her thoughts into words after first thinking entirely in pictures. Read it, it is a fascinating book.

So, here's the poem. This is another I discovered way back when I was at high school. I'm posting a lot of those, because they are old enough to be out of copyright, hopefully. Certainly this one can be found in all sorts of places on the internet.

The Cool Web
(Robert Graves 1895 - 1985)

Chidren are dumb to say how hot the day is,
How hot the scent is of the summer rose,
How dreadful the black wastes of evening sky,
How dreadful the tall soldiers drumming by.

But we have speech, to chill the angry day,
And speech, to dull the rose's cruel scent.
We spell away the overhanging night,
We spell away the soldiers and the fright.

There's a cool web of language winds us in,
Retreat from too much joy or too much fear:
We grow sea-green at last and coldly die
In brininess and volubility.

But if we let our tongues lose self-possession,
Throwing off language and its watery clasp
Before our death, instead of when death comes,
Facing the wide glare of the children's day,
Facing the rose, the dark sky and the drums,
We shall go mad no doubt and die that way.


My float said...

Oh this is a wonderful poem! I love it.

Here from Michele's.

Deb R said...

I like the poem, Catherine, and that book sounds fascinating!

kenju said...

What Debr said. The book is now on my list.

Michele sent me.

srp said...

Lovely poem, a web of words.
Here from Michele.

Catherine said...

Yes, it is a fascinating book. I seem to ahve a thing for books about autism lately. Both non -fiction and fiction. In the latter category, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" by Mark Haddon comes to mind. I was really absorbed in that one - also "The Secret Cure" by Sue Woolfe, an Australian author who I admire