Friday, September 18, 2015

The Chambered Nautilus




David Attenborough narrates. 'Nuf said.

That a Justice of the Supreme Court (1902-1932), the brilliant witty observer and Harvard professor Oliver Wendell Holmes took time out of his busy day in the 1850s to write The Chambered Nautilus about -- fist pump! -- the cousin to octopus and cuttlefish  just proves (again) how poetry- and philosophical-musing-worthy are the cephalopods. 

I've always thought so. Me and Wendell. So tight. Like me and Henry David Thoreau.


And if you don't like Holmes' poem with its "ship of pearl" and the "unshadowed main" and the extremely appealing idea of "cold sea-maids" who "rise to sun their streaming hair," then you probably don't like Fragonard (below).

And, friend, if you don't like Fragonard we have a bone to pick; because I want to spend an early fall afternoon in a pink ridiculous cream puff froth of a dress kicking off my dainty slipper from a swing (or in a Merchant Ivory film), ain't no shame in it.




Like the nautilus, I travel shell-first --  so I can't always see where I'm going. 

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