March 13th, 2006

ozarque figure

Personal note....

I'm a bit bedraggled this morning.... well, I'm a lot bedraggled this morning. Usually I can sleep through our Arkansas thunderstorms, since in our underground house we have by definition already "taken cover." But last night was different.

For one thing, there were tornados all around us, and I knew that some of my children might turn up needing a safer place to be than their mobile home down the road from us; I wanted to be sure I'd hear them knocking.

For another, the alarms for all our computer backup devices kept going off, and they do a kind of polyphony of differently-pitched beeps. I've always wished there were a way to order alarms with matching beeps, which would be less distracting than the bad harmonies they do now.

And then there was the hail hitting our air conditioning unit, which is above ground. Every time I was on the verge of falling asleep, there'd be another batch of hail. It hits the metal air conditioner, which is a loud noise in itself; then the racket travels along whatever you call the conduits that carry the air, which are also metal, getting amplified as it goes along. By the time the noise arrives at the airconditioning duct in my bedroom, it sounds like gunfire right above my head.

And finally, this storm didn't just thrash around a few minutes and then move on, the way most of our storms do. It just sat there and stormed at me.... on and on and on. The last time I looked at my watch, with the storm moving away at last, it was three a.m. Only three hours till time to get up. I did sleep those three hours, but I'm not at my best on three hours sleep.

I have no idea what a straight-on hit from a tornado would do to our place. I suppose it would take the peaked roof and the attic and the front porch. It would certainly take the big sycamore out in front, and I'd hate that. I raised that sycamore from a seed, and it's wonderful in the summer heat; you step into its shade and the air is instantly ten degrees cooler. But sycamores are shallow-rooted, and the only question would be whether it would fall toward the front porch or away from it. I don't think the underground parts of the house would be in danger, since there's a lot of earth and concrete over them -- but I'm not anxious to test that idea. Tornados are powerful, and they do strange things.

So. Here I am, bedraggled. Sleepy. A pound lighter.

I've been reading all your comments [mostly not responding to my complaints about the "Together, America can do better" campaign slogan, but to my footnote for that post] with great interest. Thank you, one and all.
ozarque figure

Quick poetry question....

I'm trying to write a brief paper, and I'm having an awful time with it. (I was having trouble before I got only three hours sleep last night; it can't be blamed on that.) I've been struggling with it for days.

Suppose the question to be answered is: "Is poetry important?" And then the question is: "Why is (or isn't) poetry important?"

If you have any thoughts on this topic that you're willing to share, I'd be interested. "Poetry is important because my English teachers always said it was" isn't getting me anywhere.