Friday, March 18, 2011

Well, the NCAA men's basketball tournaments started yesterday, and already my bracket is shot. Clearly choosing winners on the basis of good-looking coaches is not a viable strategy for victory. Oh well.

It's raining here on this dark Harmony morning, and the temperature is forecast to reach the mid-50s. Since my yard is still fully plastered with snow, the results won't be pretty. But the rooster is overflowing with hubris, the hens are laying again, pileated woodpeckers are romantically screeching, and my flats of onion seeds are beginning to sprout. In some circles, this would be called spring.

It is hard to fathom that my own sloppy, awkward, semi-peaceable world co-exists alongside the chaos of Libya and Japan--"this melancholy waste of hopes o'erthrown," to quote Wordsworth's Prelude entirely out of context. Yet a line such as that one is a good reminder of why Wordsworth is still a poet to be reckoned with, and also why great poetry matters . . . because somehow, even entirely out of context, even a century out of date, the words say what we don't know needs to be said: that is, until we hear the poet speak them. That combination of surprise and exactness: it is forever a tonic--sometimes almost unbearably sweet; sometimes, as now, bitter indeed.

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