Thursday, July 8, 2010

Poems Like This Remind Me Why I Love Calvin & Hobbes

A former teacher of mine, an Austrian economist by vocation, and I are pen-pals. I sent him a brief note and poem in June and he returned the favor in July. He sent this poem in his letter, which I received this past Tuesday.

"Leisure" by W. H. Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Over the holiday weekend, I went home and read through one of the many Calvin and Hobbes books my family owns. Calvin and Hobbes, perhaps the greatest comic strip ever drawn, chronicles six-year-old Calvin, his stuffed tiger Hobbes and his imagination. This poem, although beautiful on its own, seems to me something Bill Watterson could have synchronized into the strip in a very clever way.

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