Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday ramblings # 7 (or #8 if you count last week)

I was surfing the internet in my usual fashion the other day, reading a little bit here and a little bit there, jumping around all over the place, when I happened to read a comment on a blog in the United Kingdom that made me curious. So I clicked on the commenter’s profile and discovered a guy named Alden Smith in New Zealand -- he calls himself “tillerman” and is really into yachting (one of his blogs called Simply Sailing is worth a look) -- and I jumped to a blog of his called Stream of Consciousness and found a little something extra in the sidebar -- an excerpt from “Ode on Intimations of Immortality” by William Wordsworth, formatted thusly:

Our birth is but a sleep
and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us,
our life’s Star, Hath had
elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory
do we come, From God,
who is our home:

Odd, I thought. This was just enough Wordsworth to wet your whistle if Wordsworth is a wordsmith whose words you welish, er, relish, so I thought I would show you the entire stanza (lines 59 through 77 of the 208-line poem) from which the excerpt was, well, excerpted:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

I’m sorry that I don’t know enough about the minutiae of blogging to be able to show the stanza with the indentation Wordsworth intended -- somehow everything always gets pushed over to the left margin -- but it’ll have to do for now. I think you will agree, though, that the stanza says a mouthful and gives the reader quite a bit on which to chew.

That’s enough Wordsworth. Any more Wordsworth (for example, I thought about including “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud” with its “And then my heart with pleasure thrills and dances with the daffodils”) would have been just a little too much Wordsworth.

Speaking of chewing, we drove over to the local pet shop this morning to replenish Jethro’s dog food supply. The whole place was shut down, closed, kaput -- lock, stock and barrel -- without so much as a “by your leave” or directions to their new location, if any. Three weeks ago all seemed well and normal, and now, today, nothing. As soon as we returned home, I surfed some more on the internet and found that the next nearest establishment that sells the kind of dog food we buy is about fifteen miles away. Oh, well, what’s a little gasoline (petrol for you U.K. readers) compared to the health and well-being of my doggie? We buy Eagle Pack Holistic Select Lamb, Rice, and Oatmeal formula (also a mouthful), which is fortified with chondroitin and glucosamine and all sorts of other stuff that’s supposed to be good for Jethro’s coat, bones, joints, eyesight, and, for all I know, his bark and his bite as well. It’s a bit more expensive than the stuff they sell at the local supermarket, but it’s what Jethro had been eating for two years when we acquired him from his previous owner, who recommended that we continue giving him the food he was used to.

Also, while we were out and about today discovering the downturn in the local pet shop economy, we bought an American flag, a pole, and a mounting bracket. Until now we haven’t owned one, although both of our families flew the flag on holidays when we were young. We decided we wanted to fly one this Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that resulted in nearly 3,000 lives lost in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.


  1. Ah Wordsworth. I haven't read much of his poetry lately. I like that "trailing clouds of glory" line.

    Sorry about the pet store. It's always jolting when that happens. We once arranged to meet friends at a favorite restaurant, only to find it abandoned.

    We have to feed Smokey prescription diet, so I can relate to the expense dog food.

  2. The blog in question was

    Always nice to give fellow bloggers a mention.

  3. Hi, rambling rhymsie!

    Very enjoyable post! I appreciated the thoughts in the Wordsworth poem. Did he write "Ozymandius"? For some reason that poem really hit me in high school lit class and a line from it has always stayed in my mind: "Look on me ye mighty and despair."

    (I've suddenly lost my confidence of the poem's title or author......I need to go Google it quick!)

    "Ode on a Grecian Urn".....that's another one that stuck in my mind, too, for some reason.

  4. Oh, I'm sorry.....it was Shelley who wrote "Ozymandias", and the line is "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair."

    Keats wrote "Ode on a Grecian Urn".....

    I know you already knew all this info anyway.....!

  5. I agree the stanza gives you something to think about for sure. Hey I think I might be part doggie....I relate to the chondroitin and glucosamine part of Jethro's diet. Oh my aching joints!

  6. Thanks for coming to my blog once again, everyone!

    Ruth - We once drove from New Smyrna Beach with friends to a favorite restaurant in Daytona Beach, only to find a vacant lot. The restaurant had been destroyed by a hurricane a few months earlier.

    Silverback (Dwayne, is it? - You're right, of course. I'll add the link into the post.

    Jeannelle - Yes, and Byron wrote "The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, and his cohorts were splendored in purple and gold." And Tennysone wrote...oh, never mind.

    Vonda (egghead) - Well, we do all have canine teeth....