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Three Perfect Days -- a Spanish allusion to royalty


Jerry
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Garrison Keillor posts an email poem every day. Today it was about travel, dining, and perfection. I just loved the allusion to a princess of Espana.

 

Three Perfect Days

 

by Linda Pastan

 

In the middle seat of an airplane,

between an overweight woman

whose arm takes over the armrest

and a man immersed in his computer game,

 

I am reading the inflight magazine

about three perfect days somewhere: Kyoto

this time, but it could be anywhere?

Madagascar or one of the Virgin Islands.

 

There is always the perfect hotel

where at breakfast the waiter smiles

as he serves an egg as perfectly coddled

as a Spanish Infanta.

 

There are walks over perfect bridges?their spans

defying physics?and visits to zoos

where rain is forbidden,

and no small child is ever bored or crying.

 

I would settle now for just one perfect day

anywhere at all, a day without

mosquitoes, or traffic, or newspapers

with their headlines.

 

A day without any kind of turbulence?

certainly not this kind, as the pilot tells us

to fasten our seatbelts, and even

the flight attendants look nervous.

 

"Three Perfect Days" by Linda Pastan, from Traveling Light. ? W.W. Norton & Co., 2011. Reprinted with permission.

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I agree. I've never been happy with the term 'blank verse' -- I favor meter and rhymes myself. I think what we often see is a kind of nod to 'eloquence' -- and call it poetry. In accounting we sometimes turn in reports and say, "here are the numbers and here is the poetry" -- that implies the words are spare, only what is needed for the interpretation of numbers. If only we had standards in language. The French do.

 

Oops, bad example.

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