Friday, October 22, 2004


The new Bush-Cheney ad featuring wolves stalking through a forest has been compared to Ronald Reagan's 'Bear' ad. Glenn Reynolds provides a link to both of them at one place at the Daily Recycler. But to one of Roger Simon's readers, it evokes Louis Macneice's poem "Wolves". The poem reminds us that there is more than one response to a circling pack.

Come then all of you, come closer, form a circle,
Join hands and make believe that joined
Hands will keep away the wolves of water
Who howl along our coast. And be it assumed
That no one hears them among the talk and laughter.

September 11 did not evoke a universal desire to strike back which President Bush somehow "squandered". Judyth Hill's poem, "Make Peace", described as a thing of beauty by the pacifist movement, took a different tack.

Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings
and flocks of redwing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children
and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen
and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening:
hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
Make soup.

Make soup. Hold hands. That's all you have to do.

Best of the Comments

Find out how the word "spandrel" is used in context from reader Jinderella's comment. But here's some background in spandrels.

"Dr. Gould and Dr. Richard Lewontin, also at Harvard, soon elaborated on the importance of how organisms are built, or their architecture, in a famous paper about a feature of buildings known as a spandrel. Spandrels, the spaces above an arch, exist as a necessary outcome of building with arches. In the same way, they argued, some features of organisms exist simply as the result of how an organism develops or is built. Thus researchers, they warned, should refrain from assuming that every feature exists for some adaptive purpose."

I doubt one could have "breathed in the SS Totenkopf Corp and breathed out Wandervoggel merrily hiking thru the alps singing songs." Nor could anyone on the doomed aircraft of 9/11 breath in an Islamofacsist thug and breath out a flight attendant with a warmed towel before dinner. -- Rickvid