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Saturday, February 9, 2019

'Wising Up'

“We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.” – James Stephens 
       Irish novelist and poet Stephens, born on this date in 1882, produced many retellings of Irish myths and fairy tales, often marked by a rare combination of humor and lyricism.  His Irish Fairy Tales is especially praised, as his novel  The Crock of Gold.  “Quietness,” Stephens once said, “is the beginning of virtue. To be silent is to be beautiful. Stars do not make a noise.”   For Saturday’s Poem, here is Stephens’,

        In The Poppy Field

Mad Patsy said, he said to me,
That every morning he could see
An angel walking on the sky;
Across the sunny skies of morn
He threw great handfuls far and nigh
Of poppy seed among the corn;
And then, he said, the angels run
To see the poppies in the sun.

A poppy is a devil weed,
I said to him - he disagreed;
He said the devil had no hand
In spreading flowers tall and fair
Through corn and rye and meadow land,
by garth and barrow everywhere:
The devil has not any flower,
But only money in his power.

And then he stretched out in the sun
And rolled upon his back for fun:
He kicked his legs and roared for joy
Because the sun was shining down:
He said he was a little boy
And would not work for any clown:
He ran and laughed behind a bee,
And danced for very ecstasy.

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