Drooling on the Pillow

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bird Thou Never Wert 

This picture accompanied a short article in today's Metro section of the Times about Bethesda Fountain.

The Warrior Robin

I never knew a warrior,
However brave and strong,
Who dared to try his fortune with
A scimitar of song.

But once I heard a robin
Before the dark was gone,
Take three shrill notes and go against
The elemental dawn.

Hugh Robert Orr.

I was looking for a nice, uplifting robin poem to go with the picture, but the canon is packed with dark, ironic robin poems which express the poets wised-upness to the whole phoney, happy 'oh, here comes spring!' thing. This little trinket I found on something called Poetry of Kansas, which you're going to want to bookmark. Just shows you how far afield you have to go to to find verse that's not abusive to birds.

Another good, light piece concerned Norman Goodman, the County Clerk whose name is on the bottom of every jury summons sent out in Manhattan. I love jury duty, but the excuses people come up with are amazing.

Woody Allen sent a note, in cramped printing, protesting
that he had been so traumatized by his experience in
court during a child-custody dispute with Mia Farrow
that returning to sit on a jury was out of the question.
Mr. Goodman, a strong believer in equal treatment,
insisted that Mr. Allen show up, bad memories and all.
Mr. Allen arrived wearing what Mr. Goodman describes
as "army fatigues and a Fidel Castro cap," surrounded
by his lawyer, his agent and a bodyguard. Mr. Goodman
escorted him to the jury room, where Mr. Allen insisted
on standing, rather than sitting like everybody else.
The rest of the jurors gawked at him.

"We eventually offered him the opportunity to get out
of there," Mr. Goodman said. "Frankly, we were glad
to get rid of him."
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