Abundant Mines of Poetry

In aristocratic ages each people as well as each individual is prone to stand separate and aloof from all others. In democratic ages the extreme fluctuations of men and the impatience of their desires keep them perpetually on the move, so that the inhabitants of different countries intermingle, see, listen to, and borrow from each other. It is not only the members of the same community then, who grow more alike; communities themselves are assimilated to one another, and the whole assemblage presents to the eye of the spectator one vast democracy, each citizen of which is a nation. This displays the aspect of mankind for the first time in the broadest light. All that belongs to the existence of the human race taken as a whole, to its vicissitudes and its future, becomes an abundant mine of poetry.

Of Some Sources of Poetry Among Democratic Nations

Alexis De Tocqueville: Democracy in America, published 1835–1840

Be Mused Today

To My Muse

Jane Turell (1708–1735)

COME, gentle muse, and once more lend thine aid,

O bring thy succor to a humble maid!

How often dost thou liberally dispense

To our dull breast thy quick’ning influence!

By thee inspired, I’ll cheerful tune my voice,

And love and sacred friendship make my choice.

In my pleased bosom you can freely pour,

A greater treasure than Jove’s golden shower.

Come now, fair muse, and fill my empty mind,

With rich ideas, great and unconfin’d.

Instruct me in those secret arts that lie

Unseen to all but to a poet’s eye.

O let me burn with Sappho’s noble fire,

But not like her for faithless man expire.

And let me rival great Orinda’s fame,

Or like sweet Philomela’s be my name.

Go lead the way, my muse, nor must you stop

Till we have gain’d Parnassus’ shady top:

Till I have view’d those fragrant soft retreats,

Those fields of bliss, the muses’ sacred seats.

I’ll then devote thee to fair virtue’s fame,

And so be worthy of a poet’s name.


Discovered in Bartleby’s goldmine

When Cows Come Home


cow come home

The ranch-bound bovines, in dehydration,
yet wary of Kool-aid, declined to drink.
They grazed in wonder, cowed rumination:
where does “beef” come from?  A herd tends to think

of pasturage, water, and basic needs.
Ranch-hands assured them all was in order;
privileged guests enjoy the finest  feeds.
Cows, content on this side of the border

try Buddhism, yoga—or simply gaze…
though things in the distance loomed ominous
(those lots at the edge of the well-hoofed ways)
and a stench wafted into their consciousness.

Calves frolicked on while bulls mounted heifers—
dreamed vegan dreams as they nibbled grasses
some earned doctorates, others went clubbing;
all loosed sustainable methane gases.

Soothing their calves with fables and stories
where cows are the measure of pastured life
they deflected the gist of the young ones’ queries,
affirming that Truth means avoidance of strife.

“It’s best to just graze. Don’t ask questions dear.
We’re on this planet without any clue.
We evolved. From just what is a little unclear—
but Cow Science has proved that it’s true.”


 COW IMAGE: wallpapersus.com