Hello from the Wee, Small House. It’s Friday. I’m thinking about the one that got away. I’m not talking about that handsome, sun-kissed first love — oh no, Reader, I married him.* I’m thinking about this week. This week got away from me. Some do.
There was an accumulation of wee, small things not least of which was a wee, small person that I love deeply and who is pretty good at folding laundry for a two year old.
We had several deep conversations about “Aunt Molly someday we are all gonna die, even you and even me” and about World War II (“Why did my great-grand-fadduh get in a war?” “Well, there were some bad guys who were being really mean to people and he went to help protect the people from the bad guys”).
This week for the roundup, I’m going to link to a couple of posts from the archives that I’ve needed to re-read and re-commit to this week. And then I have an old poem to share. And by old, I mean ancient. Here we go:
friendly reminder This week I needed to remind myself to do my own work first. I needed to remind myself that some people actually enjoy making elaborate plans for teacher appreciation week, but I am not one of them. I needed to remind myself that the piles of everything in my house would wait for me, but the poems would not. In case you, too, need a remider: do your own work first.
neutral practices This week the creative work did not flow. It clunked, bumped, kicked, and fought me every step of the way. I needed to remind myself about neutral practices — a concept I learned about from Genine Lentine. Neutral practices are those things you can do to keep the creative juices flowing when you’re feeling stuck. It’s good to keep a list of neutral practices that work for you near your desk — just in case you need them. More here.
“I have wrought these words together” Have you been reading Poetry Daily’s Poet’s Pick this month? I haven’t, mostly (#trueconfessions). But Katie Peterson’s pick (which apparently the Google can’t find!?) from the Exeter Book caught my eye the other day, and reminded me of one of my favorite ancient poems “The Wife’s Lament”:
Old English poetry is known for its accented and syllabic qualities. I love the syntax, which feels to me a bit jumbled compared to our more modern way of speaking and writing. And the sounds, the sounds amaze me. There are many, many translations of this poem and I will link to a few of them below. I’d love to know if you have any favorite ancient poems — mention them in comments if you like.
Here’s one translation with audio.
Here’s another translation.
And here’s a translation (the one I have on my shelf) with explication.
Happy Friday and thanks for reading.