Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Three Blind Mice...

I was "doing" some poetry the other day. Obviously, I have let "the verse side" down because I came across a poem by a poet I hadn't heard of (of which I hadn't heard) - Billy Collins who was Poet Laureate of the US from 2001 to 2003. I really must "do" poetry more often.  Anyway here is the poem I saw when I "clicked" on his name.

I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice"

And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,

how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
or anyone else's wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.

Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"

which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better. 
Two blind mice

I love this poem!! To be able to take a children's rhyme and to squeeze so much meaning out of it, while doing the simplest of everyday tasks - chopping parsley, listening to music - takes a genius. Or maybe it just takes time and thought and looking into common everyday "things" to find a meaning, an emotion there, that others have missed because they are always looking for something more important.

But what if there really isn't anything more important and we find in the end that we have missed doing all these "things" because we thought that they were insignificant, daily chores, not worth celebrating!!

I am wondering now, as I write, what could be said about the rhyme "Three Little Kittens," while knitting mittens and listening to an old folk song about a spinning wheel.

Have a thoughtful day.

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