May 14, 2010

Exchanging Hats

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--Description: 20th C, Bishop E., Humor --
Unfunny uncles who insist
in trying on a lady's hat,
--oh, even if the joke falls flat,
we share your slight transvestite twist

in spite of our embarrassment.
Costume and custom are complex.
The headgear of the other sex
inspires us to experiment.

Anandrous aunts, who, at the beach
with paper plates upon your laps,
keep putting on the yachtsmen's caps
with exhibitionistic screech,

the visors hanging o'er the ear
so that the golden anchors drag,
--the tides of fashion never lag.
Such caps may not be worn next year.

Or you who don the paper plate
itself, and put some grapes upon it,
or sport the Indian's feather bonnet,
--perversities may aggravate

the natural madness of the hatter.
And if the opera hats collapse
and crowns grow draughty, then, perhaps,
he thinks what might a miter matter?

Unfunny uncle, you who wore a
hat too big, or one too many,
tell us, can't you, are there any
stars inside your black fedora?

Aunt exemplary and slim,
with avernal eyes, we wonder
what slow changes they see under
their vast, shady, turned-down brim.


Elizabeth Bishop

--Did You Know: (8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979) Bishop was an American poet and writer. She was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949 to 1950, and a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1956. Elizabeth Bishop House is an artist's retreat in Great Village, Nova Scotia dedicated to her memory. Elizabeth Bishop was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. After her father, a successful builder, died when she was eight months old, Bishop’s mother became mentally ill and was institutionalized in 1916. Bishop would later write about the time of her mother's struggles in her short story "In The Village." Effectively orphaned, during her very early childhood, she lived with her grandparents on a farm in Nova Scotia, a period she would later reference in her writing. Bishop's mother remained in an asylum until her death in 1934, and the two were never reunited. Read more at: E. Bishop

--Word of the Day: mugwump \MUHG-wuhmp\, noun:
1. A person who is unable to make up his or her mind on an issue, esp. in politics; a person who is neutral on a controversial issue.
2. A Republican who refused to support the party nominee, James G. Blaine, in the presidential campaign of 1884.
Example:
Twain declared that people arrive at their religion and politics "Second-hand and without examination," and proclaimed himself a Mugwump and anti-Imperialist. Those of all political persuasions quote and misquote him and claim him as a spokesman for their opposing views.
-Cindy Lovell, Mark Twain's legacy worth preserving, Kansas City Star

--Quote of the Day: Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive; and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.
-Benjamin E. Mays

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Posted by V. Mahfood

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