April 2, 2011

Day Two of National Poetry Month


Today has been nowhere near as bad as anticipated after comprehensively doing myself in yesterday* but I’m still pretty tired.  And chiefly thanks to knitting (‘just one more row!’)** I’m getting to bed later . . . and later . . . and later.  And Sunday mornings are Sunday mornings, which is to say a semblance of function and coherence by 8:45 am (shudder).  I need a night off.

            Meanwhile it’s National Poetry Month.  http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41  If I’d noticed it was coming*** I’d have got myself a little bit organised.  Well.  Maybe. 

             But I thought tonight I’d at last give you the poem Peter wrote me—gak—thirteen years ago, when I’d finally had the glandular fever† diagnosis.  I’d had ‘flu’ for two months, and still felt like . . . slime mould and old fish fingers.  And had compromised my principles to the extent of going to the doctor, who said ‘hmm, glandular fever’, took a blood test and . . . yes. 

            At the time it was the most enormous load off.  Little did I know.††  But the poem still makes me giggle.  Especially the golden retriever.†††    

Ode to an Ailment

For weeks I have felt like an under-achiever

I have lacked all the bounce of a golden retriever

And moped round the house, a mere groaner and griever.

Though in orthodox medicine I’m no believer,

I went to the doctor.  Was she a reliever!

She said “Dearie me, you have glandular fever.”

I have a disease!  Not a husband-bereaver,

But a dear little, mild little glandular fever.

It is real.  So I am not a sympathy-thiever,

Not a weakling or wimp, not a self-centred diva,

Nor a hypochondriacal fantasy-weaver.

No more at my desk I will toil like a beaver,

But lie on the sofa and watch Ralph the Reiver

And really enjoy having glandular fever.

(All right, yes I know it is called Ralph the Rover.

You can tell me all that sort of thing when it’s over.) 

* * *

 * I posted to the forum that while our New Arcadia tenor rings perfectly nicely you still have to pull the freller off its perch.  Vicky, who is about half my size, can do it, so it’s not a matter of brute strength, but the knack is elusive, and I seem to have sproinged quite a bit of my front, chest and stomach.  This reminds me of learning to sit the trot by strengthening your stomach muscles.  I wonder if improving my singing, which is (partly) another belly-strength thing, will also improve my pulling-off of large bells?  There’s no holding-your-horse-up-on-the-bit upper-body equivalent in singing however.  I don’t think.

** Well, I have to read too, you know.  It’s not like I’m going to give up reading in the bath just because I want to get into bed^ and knit.  

^ Having fed hellhounds their final snack.  Siiiiiiiigh.  Hellhounds periodically take against one particular meal, for unfathomable reasons+, and lately they’ve taken against their final snack.  A certain amount of hanging around waiting for the stars to align is not a bad thing++ but eventually the temptation to look for a cereal-free-kibble sized funnel starts becoming rather oppressive.  Last night was one of those nights.  Predictions for tonight are that it will be epic.  I don’t have time for epic.+++ 

+ I keep remembering my homeopathic ex-vet saying gravely that sighthounds are ‘psychologically the most complex’ dogs.  Snork. 

++ Hint:  knitting 

+++ Remember that letting them merely skip a meal, as one would do with less psychologically/digestively complex dogs, tends to produce a storyline which is a kind of cross between Ragnarok and Rambo VVIX: Universal Meltdown. 

*** Okay, so it started in 1996.  I’m a slow learner. 

† AKA mononucleosis 

†† Well, yes, little did I know, but this is a classic good-from-ratbaggery story too.  I’d been riding the spare hunter of a friend to keep him fit for when she needed him, and had had to stop . . . permanently as it turned out.  So this became one of the several occasions when I gave up riding because I couldn’t be relied on.  Which is why, then, six or eight months later, I decided to give learning method bell ringing a try.  Bells don’t need to be kept fit.  And yes, I gave up bell ringing too when regularly-recurring glandular fever morphed into ME, as it is inclined to do, and I didn’t go back for five or six years.  But I did go back, and given my state of mind when we first moved out of the old house and into town, if the Bell Virus hadn’t also already nobbled me I’m not sure that even being only two garden walls over from that glorious noise would have roused me to action.  

††† You may get some more poetry before the month is out.  

http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/Classic%20Poems/Southey/the_inchcape_rock.htm I’ve wasted a little time trying to find out if anyone made a film out of it, but my limited google skills aren’t bringing anything up.  I imagine Peter was just grabbing the rhyme.^  And it should be Buffy anyway.  But ‘Slayer’ really doesn’t rhyme.  

^ He’s gone to bed.  I can ask him tomorrow.


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