Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday - something different

The Swan by Mary Oliver

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

Last blog pulled probably in fear of unwelcome attention to the photos.  Have been reading other blogs, 'wolf whistling' on Cro's blog.  Usual arguments for and against the subject, sometimes I think there are no answers out there.  There is an increasingly politically correct way of looking at things, a narrowing down of behaviour to what is right.  Women dress up, put their best face on, for themselves or for others?   Have we no confidence in ourselves, or like the colourful exotic birds that nature created we have to improve the look.  Does it matter? says that scolding witch that lies behind my rational brain.  We are chasing the 'fumblers' and touchy-feely unwanted attentions off the air-ways and media, men are being brought to justice for far more worse sins, such as sexually abusing young children.  In fact it is all down to sex, the bower bird decorating his pad to lure a lady bower bird in!  Wolf-whistling will die a natural death and women will go on buying sparkly dresses for Christmas ;) and that flickering line of political correctness will be there because the internet and media exist for just such smallness of things, and that is why you see a poem above to get away from worrying trivia.
I love the Grimm's story of the 6 swans transformed by their sister to her brothers who had been changed into swans by the wicked stepmother of a queen.  Childish I know but whenever I am knitting the story comes to mind as I knit a sleeve and think of the one sleeve of nettles she was unable to knit because of the time limit.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures, 
And now my heart is sore. 
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight, 
The first time on this shore, 
The bell-beat of their wings above my head, 
Trod with a lighter tread. 

And a verse from Yeats - The Wild Swans of Coole.  To be honest I haven't seen many swans round here, though there were plenty in Essex, and I remember walking along the tow-path past Bathampton with Moss who took great care in walking past some hissing swans, they can break your arm should they feel so inclined.
Good news for me at least is my son is coming down soon for a couple of days haven't seen him for ages, Ephraim will drive him down so there will probably be lots of arguments on current affairs!


  1. As my son lives, literally, just around the corner, I see him almost every day. I am very lucky.

    1. You are Pat having him on the doorstep so to speak, loved the story of Blackie the cat so pleased to see Tess.

  2. I will see my son too for the first time since September when he finishes his uni term. Regarding swans...I am always excited to catch a rare glimpse of a black one. They seem so exotic somehow.

    1. You are still at the beginning of uni, wait till he comes back when finished, or will he go away to far and distant lands.