It’s a deeply moving story, following a young man through the border country of the southwest. You see that wildness is something that you often don’t fully appreciate until you try to trap it, and then when you’re close to it you want more than anything for that good thing to run free again but it seems that ‘civilized’ society won’t allow you to do that. I think it’s one of the saddest, wisest stories.
I read that the The European court has ruled against the Russian ‘gay propaganda’ law- saying, “given the vagueness of the terminology used and the potentially unlimited scope of their application, these provisions are open to abuse in individual cases.” https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/06/european-court-blasts-russias-gay-propaganda-law-as-discriminatory/530925/
I think that’s a good standard for laws and I’m inclined to totally agree with the ruling because the law is only capable of policing certain things. If the law isn’t incisive enough it becomes absurd and oppressive. The court would do well, though, to look at all European and Canadian laws through that same lens (Americans legally have the most expansive freedom of expression).
I can think of a few canadian laws and I gather Europeans have similarly stifling laws that certainly fit that discription of vagueness and potential abusiveness. The Russian law probably targets some speech and expression that is really harmful and misguided but it probably does a whole lot of bullying too. There isn’t a ‘group’ of people on earth that isn’t party to reprehensible speech or insightful speech. That’s the thing: although I would certainly like the government to ban a bunch of things I don’t like, I know it would be bad in the end because the government does a poor job of policing speech or personal ‘propoganda,’ usually just bullying political opponents in the end. The totality of life is too dynamic to police with legislation. The upshot is that the law can’t change hearts. The government can’t coerce people to be virtuous or tolerant- people need to discover and nurture virtue and tolerance on their own, and communities can help. So while Russia has a long way to go to be a free and tolerant country, we shouldn’t be smug and complacent in Canada: Canadians have our own vague laws and need to find virtue on our own.
A wise man introduced me to Edna St Vincent Millay’s wonderful poem. . The opening line and refrain is the best comma splice I’ve read: we were very tired, we were very merry. With the pressure and mystery of poetry I can’t say for sure if it’s tired and merry or tired but merry or something else- I can say, though, the fusion of tiredness and merriment is very moving for me. That’s a worthy goal- to be tired and merry and, like the narrator does in the final lines of the poem, keep only what I need to get back home and give away everything else. I’ll keep working on that goal
‘The Last Sturgeon’ is the best poem addressing the question posed in all but words by Robert Frost’s Ovenbird- what to make of a diminished thing- and like the roots in reverse we have the motif of the tributary in Steven Heighton’s poem- the sources are smaller and colder and scattered and yet it widens and warms and empties in the ocean
The title poem for the collection is wonderful- it must be read- but it got me thinking about roots. Steven writes about roots ‘where all mothers, /unfinished/ unfolding,/ remain.’ It’s lovely how each successive line diminishes while carrying more weight. So, I think like an echo (another very moving motif that Christina Rossetti makes the most of) roots grow smaller and farther away- but still part of the source and because of that still alive. That consoles me.
I thought the Liberals disqualified themselves for governing Ontario back when I voted for John Tory, and then NDP the next time around (I don’t know how someone could supposedly ‘hold their nose’ and vote for the liberal in Ontario over and over again). So after more than a decade of Liberal government in Ontario, and with the Liberal’s facing almost certain defeat because of all of the barnacles accumulated on their ship over those years, now they say ‘the little guy’s turn has come’
The angel bird appears when you see a colony of seagulls pass a window and then you stare at an empty sky for a couple seconds- and then just before you turn away one more seagull flies by