Month: July 2005

James Leigh Hunt

Song of Fairies Robbing an Orchard We, the Fairies, blithe and antic, Of dimensions not gigantic, Though the moonshine mostly keep us, Oft in orchards frisk and peep us. Stolen sweets are always sweeter, Stolen kisses much completer, Stolen looks are nice in chapels, Stolen, stolen, be your apples. When to bed the world are bobbing, Then’s the time for orchard-robbing; Yet the fruit were scarce worth peeling, Were it not for stealing, stealing.…

Jorge Luis Borges

History of the Night Throughout the course of the generations men constructed the night. At first she was blindness; thorns raking bare feet, fear of wolves. We shall never know who forged the word for the interval of shadow dividing the two twilights; we shall never know in what age it came to mean the starry hours. Others created the myth. They made her the mother of the unruffled Fates that spin our destiny, thev sacrificed black ewes to her, and the cock who crows his own death. The Chaldeans assigned to her twelve houses; to Zeno, infinite words. She took shape from Latin hexameters and the terror of Pascal. Luis de Leon saw in her the homeland of his stricken soul. Now we feel her to be inexhuastible like an ancient wine and no one can gaze on her without vertigo and time has charged her with eternity. And to think that she wouldn’t exist except for those fragile instruments, the eyes.…

Shel Silverstein

Recipe for a Hippopotamus Sandwich A hippo sandwich is easy to make. All you do is simply take One slice of bread, One slice of cake, Some mayonnaise One onion ring, One hippopotamus One piece of string, A dash of pepper — That ought to do it. And now comes the problem… Biting into it!…

Mary Cornish

Numbers I like the generosity of numbers. The way, for example, they are willing to count anything or anyone: two pickles, one door to the room, eight dancers dressed as swans. I like the domesticity of addition– add two cups of milk and stir– the sense of plenty: six plums on the ground, three more falling from the tree. And multiplication’s school of fish times fish, whose silver bodies breed beneath the shadow of a boat. Even subtraction is never loss, just addition somewhere else: five sparrows take away two, the two in someone else’s garden now. There’s an amplitude to long division, as it opens Chinese take-out box by paper box, inside every folded cookie a new fortune. And I never fail to be surprised by the gift of an odd remainder, footloose at the end: forty-seven divided by eleven equals four, with three remaining. Three boys beyond their mothers’ call, two Italians off to the sea, one sock that isn’t anywhere you look.…

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