One of my favorite poems is “The Tyger” by William Blake. The poem is mesmerizing in its relentless hammered beat which represents the making of the fearsome tiger, as if its bright, burning coloring was forged from the fires of a mighty furnace.
I’ve thought it a contender for rap and amused my class trying to read it aloud as a rapper. I’ve had my class chant it unison with eerie results, thirty voices sounding as if we were practicing some Gregorian chant.
This time around I will silently appreciate its genius, and I hope you will also.
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
At the end of the week I’m ready to kick back with a bowl of popcorn with a remote in hand.
As much as I need to read, there are times when settling back to watch a movie is the ticket to totally unwinding from the week’s stress.
I have discovered I have lost my interest in films that are steeped in human dramas—maybe it’s because I’m living my own. Big, raucous CGI flicks, like the Marvel world offers, are okay for mindless escapism. What I discovered that engages my interest most are nature documentaries. I subscribe to PBS mainly for their Nature program.
Our library carries an impressive array of DVD and Blu-Ray offerings, especially in nature shows. Browsing the stacks one day I discovered an amazing series:
From the library catalog description:
Narrated by David Tennant, this exhilarating adventure was filmed over four years and forty countries with help from camera-carrying birds, drones, paragliders and remote-countrol microflight planes. This wondrous aerial spectacle will make your spirits soar!
It is indeed exhilarating to be so up close to birds in flight and to witness behaviors not easily accessible by humans. The dedication and ingenuity of the film crew is certainly impressive.
As a Whovian, it was an added bonus listening to David Tennant’s Scottish-infused narration. I half expected the Tardis to be spied among the migrating flocks of geese.
I suppose there is some therapeutic aspect to watching the life and times of animals, especially birds. There is wonder and appreciation for the natural world. The joy and satisfaction of knowing there is so much beauty and marvel in the world that is available with a click of the remote is indeed a welcome balm after a long, long week.
What is your animal of choice to watch?
Kangaroo Word: A synonym within a word, like a little joey tucked away within the mama kangaroo.
A word within a word that reflects the host word—now that is a Word Nerd discovery of delight!
I have long appreciated cows. They have an inherent lassitude that encourages one to slow down to stop and smell, or in their case, eat the roses (do cows eat roses?)
Well, the world is discovering how therapeutic a cow can be. Cow hugging is now a thing.
Having been around cows, I had not considered them as hug therapy candidates. They are rather massive. rather bony, and rather, well, they are rather a bit on the earthy side of clean. Apparently I am missing something.
Hugging one another, especially those outside of our “safe” circle is risky these days. I’ve been sent videos where it shows people hugging their pets as a means of relieving their anxiety. A hug is immensely therapeutic. And if hugging humans is not readily available then a pet often suffices.
Pet therapy is well-known, which is why there is such a surge in therapy animals. And this was prior to COVID-19.
So, hugging cows is understandable, and cuddling with a dog or cat is well-established as therapeutic, but hugging a person truly can’t be replaced, and I look forward to returning to a world where a hug isn’t life threatening.
Someday We Will not have to be socially distant although hugging cows can remain a practice. I imagine cows need hugs too.
Another round of Debatables starts today. Mike and I are both pro-rodent (although I am not a rat fan since Ratigan and Willard *yikes*). And we celebrate the arrival of Mike’s new book:
So–it makes sense to make our February Debatables all about mice, particularly the Most Appealing Mouse of Middle Reader Literature.
Mike’s vote is for Amos from Robert Lawson’s Ben and Me.
I am promoting Reepicheep from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series.
Voting takes place at Mike’s blog. This shall no doubt be a lively round. Stop by and cast your vote (for Reepicheep, of course).
When I was a kid, the family dog was in the backyard and cigarettes were found everywhere. Today, dogs are everywhere and smokers are banned to their backyard.
I’m not complaining. Just wondering how dogs have reached such a thumbs-up public approval.
Check out this New Yorker article in which the journalist trots a turkey, a snake, a pig, and an alpaca in public places.
Now, before we get started. I need to state right up front. I like dogs. Our family dog taught me to walk (I grabbed on to him and he patiently led me along), and we were buds until he died at age of fourteen. I still miss him. Not that it’s a big deal, but I nearly died trying to protect our neighbor’s Cock-a-poo who had been attacked by dogs gone wild. I have considered becoming a trainer for guide dogs once I finally retire from teaching. And just today I reunited two boys with their list Labrador. So–I do like dogs.
I just prefer dogs in the proper setting. Restaurants, hotels, the library, grocery stores, the farmer’s market, my local Home Depot, and the post office are not places I expect or desire to interact with dogs. I have no issue with true service dogs. They are trained and serve a needed purpose. The wolfhound blocking the sidewalk at the local farmer’s market (where it is posted “No Dogs in Park)–purpose?
Some communities are crazy for dogs. Oregon’s Hood River is such a place. San Francisco is another city gone to the dogs, and many of its citizens are wondering if they have gone too far in embracing doggy appreciation (3-1 said yes in a poll). It’s become so prevalent to see dogs when I go out to eat that I’m tempted to ask if there is non-dog section when going to a restaurant. True service dogs stay at their owner’s feet, they do not share their table, nor their lap. No fuss is made over them because they are on duty. They are well-behaved. They aren’t that noticeable.
Regular dogs and their owners–that’s a different matter.
Even though it’s posted at our local community park, where the local farmer’s market is held, that no dogs are allowed, that does not deter either the locals or the tourists from bringing their canine with them as they shop for garlic cloves and search for the perfect scone. I see the sign “Service Animals Only” posted on the door of most businesses, yet that request does not apparently apply to the lady with the Pekinese stuffed in her purse as she rolls out her grocery cart.
The value of a posted ordinance, rule, or request is only as good as it is enforced. The farmer’s market association says it’s the job of the city to enforce the ordinance. The police department says they will stop by the park if they don’t have other pressing duties. The store manager says they risk a lawsuit if they ask the person if their dog is a service animal. Clerks have developed a “we don’t ask” policy at the library and post office. The people I encounter in public places who do not have their dog on a leash, although it’s posted to do so, say “Oh, no worries. She’s friendly.” Maybe so, but I still don’t want that friendly nose snuffing my leg. There’s a set of teeth ever so close to that friendly nose that may decide otherwise. It’s happened.
I’m wondering if society has replaced the cigarette, a selfish, noxious habit that can harm those in its presence with another risky habit. Whoa, C. Muse. Equating cigarettes to dogs is a bit harsh. Maybe so. There remains a deep-seated amazement that people seriously think I want to share my space with their four-legged habit. I am not the only one who is wondering about this new dog-permissive attitude.
David Lazarus of the LA Times decided to test the new doggy permissiveness. Even though there are health codes, he acknowledged, he took his dog Teddy with him one day, wondering why no one stopped him when he decided on taking his dog everywhere he went. Perplexed at being ignored by those around him he summed it up: “I have only one answer to that. It’s L.A., dude.”
I will expand on that answer: It’s America. Americans don’t like being told what to do. Americans like to celebrate their freedom. Americans like their dogs.
Has anyone else noticed the new dog permissiveness? Are dogs as prevalent as cigarettes once were in public places? Dog gone it, I just don’t understand why society wants to have such dog day afternoons.