Monday, October 5, 2009

An ode to the @ and the ampersand

Richard Wilbur, “&”

From The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems (1947):

A slopeshouldered shape from scurrying burdens
Backward and forth, or perhaps a lyre
Or a clef wrung wry in tuning untunable tones
Or a knot for tugging an out-of-hand.

Vine to the trellis in clerical gardens:
Sweetness & light, ice & fire,
Nature & art have dissocketed all your bones,
Porter, poor pander ampersand. (via The Ampersand)


Like the whorl of an out-of-this-world ear that had been lent
to an oak-gall wasp by a tenth century Irish monk
who would hold out oak-gall ink against the predicament
in which he found himself…
Like the ever-unfolding trunk
of the elephant in the room that gives such a bad vibe
it vies with your old hippie girlfriend who once lent such weight
to any argument to which you feared she might subscribe,
including her insistence we abbreviate
our most promising rlshps…

Like the scrolled-down tail
of a Capuchin monkey drawing on its inner strengths
as it hammers short-sighted snail against short-sighted snail
that has nonetheless gone to extraordinary lengths…

Like the tapeworm swallowed by a hippie who was once fat
but is now kind of bummed out you've lost track of where she's at. (via Design Observer)

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