Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"But," said she, "What does it mean?"

Read this one first in Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster, and obsessed about what it meant for a while. What I loved most was that it was such an open-ended poem with so many little clues. A beautiful little jigsaw puzzle. Came across it again yesterday in a SAT Literature test, and nearly cried.

I don't think Emily Dickinson and I are friends. Not yet. But this one gave me a queer nice feeling. I'm putting it up as a tribute to when I unabashedly mulled over poetry and inflicted little bits of it on my friends. Nowadays, culinary endeavours are all I inflict.

I miss inflicting poetry. Here it is:


Part One: LifeXII

I asked no other thing,

No other was denied.

I offered Being for it;

The mighty merchant smiled.


Brazil? He twirled a button,

Without a glance my way:

“But, madam, is there nothing else

That we can show to-day?”


In passing, the SAT's critical reading section has some gems of literary passages from books that I've never read, and shall probably not read, thanks to the fact that they don't tell you where the passage is from. Now I call that cruel. I can't remember all the sentences, or the characters, or be expected to after I'm done with a ten-section exodus with some very nasty passages about the peopling of the Americas or the origins of snoring.

But the nice little passages, they make me smile during the yawnathon. They're another kind of jigsaw puzzle. More open ends.

I grew up on jigsaw puzzles, yes. But only because I beheaded all my Barbies. I had to.

2 kindred spirits have swallowed my rambling:

new age scheherazade said...

I LOVED daddy long legs.I have two copies (so I never miss out on reading it when I want to even if I'm lending out one book). but i never understood that poem either. judy turned in a blank paper on that one, didn't she...what could we write on the SAT then? and yeah, some passages are pretty interesting. but the informative ones are easiest.
speaking of daddy long legs, I have the sequel, Dear Enemy as an ebook. not as good, but still pretty good. want it?

Priyanka Kumar said...

daddy long legs has a sequel? i have GOT to start taking to ebooks.