On the Grasshopper and Cricket
By John Keats
The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's - he takes the lead
In summer luxury,- he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.
Poem in honor of the fact that we watched Bright Star on cable: beautifully filmed, well-acted, script a bit deadly earnest (Keats has a sense of humor in his poems, he must have had one in life), gorgeous images of Hampstead. Keats isn't my favorite Romantic and I don't have strong beliefs about how he should be characterized -- I am perfectly willing to entertain wild speculation like Ken Russell's Gothic or Highlander's "The Modern Prometheus" -- but it's worth watching on a quiet evening.
Most of the day was taken up with writing a review of Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Second Chances" and transporting Daniel to his annual torture session, excuse me, medical exam, where he was subjected to a hepatitis booster shot, a hearing test, questions about sex and drugs (I wasn't in the room for those), and other humiliating forms of abuse that only a parent who doesn't love her child would permit. My kids do not appreciate it when I point out that every year I had to have a hemoglobin test -- finger-stabbing hurt more than shots -- and a TB skin test, so they have no business complaining.
The Friday Five: Summer
1. What do you love about Summer? The light lasting well into the evening.
2. How many times you had a fun on summer? How many times have I not?
3. What mostly you like to do during summer time? I love being by the shore -- not just in the ocean but on boardwalks, in swamps, etc.
4. Do you like the place where you live? Most of the time. It's certainly not the winters that bother me.
5. If you have given a chance, do you want to live in a tropical country? No. I love watching the seasons change.
Fannish5: Name your five most-loved fairy tales. I'm assuming that folk tales count too, not strictly Western fairy tales.
1. The Seven Swans
2. The Princess and the Frog
3. East of the Sun and West of the Moon
4. The Old Man and the Golden Fish
5. The Tale of Attaf
Pelicans hoped for a handout from a Kure Beach fisherman in North Carolina.
At the Carolina Beach boardwalk, however, this was more the sort of handout I was hoping for.
We had lots of fun in the Fort Fisher area, seeing pufferfish at the Fort Fisher aquarium...
...as well as local salamanders and many other animals.
Nearby at the fort itself, we saw remnants of the Civil War, though the original Fort Fisher was further out in an area that's now underwater.
At Fort Fisher's Battery Buchanan at the end of the island, we saw many fiddler and hermit crabs.
These little puffy pines at Carolina Beach State Park...
...grow up to be tall, strong, and very fire-resistant.