Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Call him a haiku frog

Or call him a memory of P's beach house on the Monterey Bay. I'm not sure what these frogs are supposed to look like, but this one seems a little scabby and slightly the worse for wear. But he was still quite lively and hopped away after enduring a short photo-shoot.
I've had a cold today and am also not at my best. But I did have a great talk with my brother! Early in the conversation, he posed this question, "Where do blogs go?" Where indeed? He had just been to a genealogy seminar, where they discussed  mediums of preservation for your family history. Look forward to the time when no one has an 8" floppy disk, a 5 1/4 floppy disk (beloved Apple IIe-clone Laser, I miss you still!), a 3 inch floppy (which by then was stiff, rather than floppy,) or a player for Phillips Cassettes or a VCR, or the reel-to-reel Webcor tape recorder that was so heavy my Dad had to carry it for my Mom when she went to her Gestalt Training sessions.
Understanding those things is relatively easy, but throw your thought forward to the time when no one can play your optical media: your CDs and DVDs that are probably useless anyway because of shellac failure or some such. Don't even start me on hard drives!
Long ago I read about the results of an experiment on the ability of notes taken in the field with different media to last. I wish I could remember more about this experiment, but I do remember the well-supported conclusion that good quality pencil marks on heavy paper held up the best in a long exposure to sun and rain, It gave me new respect for the lowly pencil. And of course reminded me of Thoreau and his family's pencil manufactory.
So where DO blogs go; I imagine they won't last forever; what do you think?  But I am enjoying producing this one and following memory threads down Memory Lane. Doing something every day is something I often plan to do. (Why not write one haiku a day? I often plan to start this.) But I haven't been consistent, except when able to read a book a day at ages 12-17, Now it often takes me quite a long time. Regular readers will remember when I read the LONG book about George Eliot by Frederick Karl. It was such a good book and so deeply intelligent, I decided to work on his other books. I just Franz Kafka; Representative Man and started it today, It is promising to be awesome as well, dealing with the European history of the time and the sources of High Modernism. I'll keep you posted.

Tonight's poem by W. S. Merwin is another from Czeslaw Milosz's anthology:
A Book of Luminous Things; an international anthology of poetry. Harcourt, Brace, 1996

It has a headnote from Milosz: "At any moment in our life we are entangled in all the past of humanity, and that past is primarily language, so we live as if upon a background of incessant chorus, and of course it is possible to imagine the presence of everything which has ever been spoken."


Sitting over words
very late I have heard a kind of whispered sighing
not far
like a night wind in pines or like the sea in the dark
the echo of everything that has ever
been spoken
still spinning its one syllable

Look at this carefully. In its unpunctuated beauty, with its variation in line length, the evocative sounds in the poem and in each chosen word, and it's use of "spinning" as the earth spins, it is enough for tonight, don't you think?

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