am 4.1.2003 2:27 Uhr schrieb Nancy Gish unter [log in to unmask]:

> There was an article in the NYTimes on rote memory of poems and how it
> is lost but was so important.

Dear Nancy,

do you remember the issue of the NYTimes? I have an online subscription and
would be interested in that article.

Wishing you a poetic New Year:


Here's a poem I've read in the NEW YORKER, reminding me of architectural
observations on Fire Island. Among others, the line "crew-cutting the
crabgrass" is remarkable.


Amazing how they hang on,
these battered bungalows
with jaunty names from the forties --
Mairzy Doats, On the Rocks, At-Eze,

Shipshape, its upstairs prow
sagging like the toe of an ancient
upside-down boot.
The porch swings are peeling,

the children have their own lives.
Still, somebody
crew-cuts the crabgrass
that ends in beach or marsh,

puts out the plastic lawn chairs,
launders the white curtains
through which one glimpses
bedrooms that grow yellow

or lilac, like Easter eggs.
On the dresser, Mass cards, seashells,
photos -- Sue and the girls
and what was his name? the dog

who loved chocolate ice cream?
Terrible how you forget, but
never mind, it's another morning
for the Kerrys and the Angelinis

hoisting their Irish and Italian flags
as if it didn't matter that they're going,
like the geese unravelling
southward over the sea grass,

a few less every year,
like "swell" and "swank"
or the girl's names on the housefronts:
Miss New Britain, Wendy-Ann.

--Katha Pollitt