Elsewhere I have a little excursus on the poet Graves, one of the few major poets surviving into my lifetime who seemed to be talking about something besides his own exquisite sensitivity. (I should note that Graves actually described himself as a minor poet, on the grounds that “minor poets can still fall in love.” But I believe he was pulling our noses a bit there.)
I think of him every day that I am out in the yard now because little pale-celadon — nearly white — butterflies hiccup and jitter through my jungly garden like stripes on an old television:
by Robert Graves
The butterfly, a cabbage-white,
(His honest idiocy of flight)
Will never now, it is too late,
Master the art of flying straight,
Yet has – who knows so well as I? –
A just sense of how not to fly:
He lurches here and here by guess
And God and hope and hopelessness.
Even the aerobatic swift
Has not his flying-crooked gift.