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XLIX

THE HIPPOPOTAMUS & THE HUMMINGBIRD
Monet's Garden at Sainte-Adresse
The Hummingbird deliciously
sucks nectar from th'flower

& see him: going by
puncturally on The Hour!
[sic]

The Hummingbird is elegant
due to Th'Rapture of his Great Offense
being so irrelevant--

The Hippopotamus' Vast Eloquence
(making all th'difference)
he lacks The Elegance

of Th'Hummingbird, whose timeless Crime
at its timeliest Sublime

is but like deference
in The Springtime

--While Hippopotamus: So fat
& so exceedingly gross
keeps no timetables & never demurs
to crush The Rose

(not to imply that the Hummingbird
somehow is charming because he lacks
the weight to wipe out Nature's Word
with his light-weight attack)

--I say THIS to teach you: Keep on time!

No matter how small You mean to be
(the Hummingbird is elegant
primarily due THIS courtesy)

while Hippopotamus is O, so
a-bo-mi-na-bly wry
because: he's either always stepping on your toes
or asking: Why!?!
53
Vermeer's Girl With A Red Hat

^{53} That is: the hummingbird "punctu-ring the flowers" ... not a tick stroke of the clock. The lyrical/pastoral poem says "Take a look at this," or "Consider this." Moral/philosophical verse says, "This is what it is," rather, or "This is what it ought to be," or "Explain this" (if you can --or, even, if only to your own satisfaction). Last two lines: Not necessarily at the same time.

Two kinds of people: The hummingbird (say, a Hitler-type?), who flirts about your buttonhole flower & must be shooed away; the hippopotamus (say, your mother-in-law?) breaking into your bathroom without knocking & "Oh! You're in here? I hadn't noticed you" --Flush!! "Agh!" The poem does not deal with the lovable able sort of folk, obviously. [Not to suggest that Hitler was "elegant," of course!]

Necessity is the urging spirit of the moral poem; delight is the form of entertainment the pastoral poem aims [email protected]

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