Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Scarves are the accessory of choice this time of year, the cold wind and weather necessitating a little extra warmth, and what better way to add some color and texture around the face? Some people look cheerier in scarves, and others, with the lengths of knitted or woven fabric draped around the neck and shoulders just so, have the gift of appearing poet-like...

You can do your local library (and yourself!) a favor by trying-out a title of poetry. You might find a favorite. Too many really excellent poetry books never get checked-out, leaving librarians to wonder: "Should I withdraw this book from the collection?"

Can you believe it, the delightful poem below comes from such a never-been-borrowed library book?

Dance Steps
by Susan Kinsolving

When the world grew desperate enough, eccentric
solutions were attempted. The President started
xylophone lessons. Daily readings from Pushkin
and the I Ching opened Parliament. Every military
installation in Africa was required to maintain

a large aquarium. On alternate days, the Kremlin
became an infant day-care facility. Every Japanese
citizen wrote weekly to a Central American pen pal.
The Pope toured China and Australia to present Charlie
Chaplin film clips and vegetable gardening tips.

Of course, there was protest and cynicism, yet
undeniably things had changed. Newspapers reported
the details of foreign dreams. Summit meetings began
by swimming laps. Ancient Greek became the official
language of Mexico and Argentina. In Bombay, a luau

was given honoring Eskimos and televised by satellite
to Saudi Arabia. Exactly what resulted from all
these efforts was indeterminate; however, international
opinion favored further whims. Trees took on new stature.
Animals were consulted. Children held office. Romantic

love gained new respect. The gold standard broadened
to include well water, new jokes, and flower arranging.
Subsequently, values changed. Authority and innocence
merged. And it went on this way for a long time because
everyone wanted a better story with a happier ending.

And it went on this way for a long time because everyone wanted a better story with a happier ending. Albert Einstein knew that one must do something different in order to expect different results, which this poem illustrates with boisterous creativity. In this way, Autumn's multicolored boucle yarn scarf is a spirited break from the winter norm of "understatement."


hampanel said...

That is SUCH a lovely excerpt! Am considering FB'ing it now, lol...

lifeinoleg said...

Scarves and poetry. I love them both!

Good on you, Ashley.

nicholas said...

Thank you for sharing this poem; it is wonderful. Sometimes I wonder if there are more contemporary poems being written now than there are contemporary poems being read.

My favorite poem written in the past ten years is "Like Lavrinia" by Kimiko Hahn (which is a happy poem) from the book The Artist's Daughter

My favorite book of poetry from the past ten years is sKincerity by Laura Elrick.

it is amazing they are ever found ever