Wednesday, June 4, 2008

...and luckier.

I just finished mowing the grass. I had let it get a bit high, something I do from time to time just so I can see what types of wildflowers we have growing in the yard. I sometimes let it grow because of a passage from Whitman’s Song of Myself (Leaves of Grass), which perhaps you will enjoy. Hang with me, I often relate things to literature (and bore some people terribly because of this trait).

This is in response to a child having asked the question of Whitman, “What is the grass?” The answer was thus:

“And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them,
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring
Taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mothers’ laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,
And perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon
Out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not
Wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”

So, to anyone out there whose mower is not working, and they find that they cannot cut the grass tonight: although it is an inconvenient and frustrating situation in which you have found yourself, this lack of working mower with which to cut grass may be a good thing, if just for one evening. Tomorrow you will fix your mower and the grass will be shorn. Tonight you may sit on your porch, look out at your lawn and listen to the voices of the men, women and children…

Reading: Wrinkle in Time (for that unattractive guy's book club).
Listening to: Ethan & the Ewox-Brothers From Different Mothers
Eating: Ice cream, if I had some...(Ben & Jerry's, probably Chunky Monkey or Peanut Butter Chocolate); earlier in the day, I was eating bugs with the library kids. Crickets crunch and taste like dirt.

2 comments:

Eric Wright said...

Is BFDM an album name or are you referring to the good 'ol ska band from Topeka, Ks by the name of Brothers From Different Mothers?

Carol said...

It's an album name. I don't know about this ska band from Topeka...Ska band from Topeka?!?