Tuesday, May 07, 2013

One Bluebird Between Sky Time And Mud Time

A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight
And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume,
His song so pitched as not to excite
A single flower as yet to bloom.
It is snowing a flake; and he half knew
Winter was only playing possum.
Except in color he isn't blue,
But he wouldn't advise a thing to blossom.

Wikipedia doesn’t have a page for Robert Frost’s poem, “Two Tramps In Mud Time” but part of the poem, the final stanza, appears at another Wikipedia page as a kind of illustration. On the Wikipedia page for the word “Avocation” the final stanza of Frost’s poem appears.

I don’t know that the poem is about ‘vocation’ and ‘avocation’ any more than it is about the two tramps, no matter which of the characters you interpret as the “two” of the two tramps from the title.

Wikipedia doesn’t put the stanza about the bluebird on the Wikipedia page about bluebirds and I’d be more comfortable teaching the poem as being about birds than about work and play. If I were a poetry teacher, I mean.

After all, the bluebird is neither working nor playing. And it’s not paying attention to the tramps or the guy chopping wood.

The bluebird is just being a bluebird, singing and maybe thinking about flowers.

Wikipedia puts the poem to work.

Wikipedia doesn’t even include the part about the bluebird.

Wikipedia takes Robert Frost’s song and turns it into Muzak.


Dinosaurs In Cloud Time

Bits of DNA
blow around something like clouds
helping raindrops form

as if clouds themselves
are alive with DNA
and reproducing

with a life cycle
lived in sky time and mud time
and who knows what else.

Maybe bluebirds know
and they’re careful with their songs
so they don’t scare us.

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