Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Literature, Poetry, and Books


A favorite from A.M. Juster:


The other frogs consider me aloof
And mock each out-of-season mating call,
But I regard my plight as living proof
That faith can foster something magical.
So crouching patiently above the scum
With chin uplifted, eyelids low and still,
I wait for my redeeming love to come.
With numbing numbers cruelly reduced
To caviar for snacking perch and trout,
Dessert for weary birds before they roost
Or toys that idle boys have caught for sport,
It all confirms my sense of destiny.
Someday she will appear to grace this plot
And recognize the manifest in me.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I do enjoy and appreciate Juster. I had to buy the book, The Secret Language of Women, since no library would lend a copy. I like so many of the poems, but the poem that shares its title with the book is a wonder for someone who has always thought she could not really appreciate poetry and certainly not anything of an epic nature. "The safest woman is a silent one" The story grabs me.

I found this:


I was unsettled to discover
I am in love. With Wendy Cope
My nightly read, why take a lover?
I was unsettled to discover
How often I was thinking of her.
Knowing her poems discouraged hope,
I was unsettled to discover
I am in love with Wendy Cope.

Another smiler, this from the book, about missed connections and maybe against the grain of the romance in the poem of the post:


A large bouquet arrived at nine;
Security agreed to sign.

His unread note was saccharine;
Her voicemail said she wasn't in.

Though someone tried to track her down,
His gesture wilted, then turned brown.

As petals crumbled on her chair,
He reassessed the whole affair.

By cellphone his assistant learned
That she had faxed when she returned.

He emailed her while leaving town
Just as her network had gone down.

Before he made another try,
She moved in with another guy.

This semester one of my students is Chinese and approaches language sideways, or so it reads to me. I blink and smile at her writing and forgive her some grammatical terrorism as I would not with an American student. She delights me with sentences like this one, "In my opinion, it is good to learn writing with an active heart." I think the man who is A.M. Juster must have learned writing like that.

*sniff* ... for the life of me I can't read or appreciate poetry. Just can't do it.

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