Posted by Richard on  UTC 2020-11-05 08:12

Today the Swiss winter is earnestly signalling its arrival, tapping the newly-bare twigs on the windowpanes. The small creatures of the chilling world outside are venturing into the warm but perilous habitations of humans in search of a safe place to spend the winter.

One of these, a tiny spider, a seasonal golden-brown, wandered down the screen of my monitor this morning and paused for a while, showing interest, perhaps, in its gentle warmth.

Robert Frost's poem 'A Considerable Speck (Microscopic)' came to mind, a poem from his highly regarded collection A Witness Tree from 1942 (in the section 'Time Out', p. 57).

A Considerable Speck (Microscopic)

Robert Frost (1874-1963), 1942.

A speck that would have been beneath my sight


On any but a paper sheet so white


Set off across what I had written there.


And I had idly poised my pen in air


To stop it with a period of ink


When something strange about it made me think.


This was no dust speck by my breathing blown,


But unmistakably a living mite


With inclinations it could call its own.


It paused as with suspicion of my pen,


And then came racing wildly on again


To where my manuscript was not yet dry;


Then paused again and either drank or smelt—


With loathing, for again it turned to fly.


Plainly with an intelligence I dealt.


It seemed too tiny to have room for feet,


Yet must have had a set of them complete


To express how much it didn’t want to die.


It ran with terror and with cunning crept.


It faltered: I could see it hesitate;


Then in the middle of the open sheet


Cower down in desperation to accept


Whatever I accorded it of fate.


I have none of the tenderer-than-thou


Collectivistic regimenting love


With which the modern world is being swept.


But this poor microscopic item now!


Since it was nothing I knew evil of


I let it lie there till I hope it slept.


I have a mind myself and recognize


Mind when I meet with it in any guise.


No one can know how glad I am to find


On any sheet the least display of mind.


The visitor didn't wait for me to get my camera, it scuttered off to some darker and more amenable lodging.

0 Comments UTC Loaded:

Input rules for comments: No HTML, no images. Comments can be nested to a depth of eight. Surround a long quotation with curly braces: {blockquote}. Well-formed URLs will be rendered as links automatically. Do not click on links unless you are confident that they are safe. You have been warned!

Name  [max. characters: 24]
Type   into this field then press return:
Comment [max. characters: 4,000]