I had a moment today.
My tech moved a beaker on the hot plate. I asked why he did that. He did it because he didn't like hearing it sizzle (there was some water trapped beneath it).
I said that that reminded me of "The Cremation of Sam McGee". (Here's a fun reading.)
He didn't know what I was talking about. He has not read poetry.
Not "Lochinvar". Not "The Highwayman". Not "Little Orphant Annie". (I've seen the movie, he said. Not the same story, I said.) Not "Casey at the Bat". Nope, has not read poetry.
Sometimes I feel like an anachronism.
If I am, F is a worse one because she's the next generation. I remember that one day she called me from school, having a fit because in her Brit Lit class they had read Yeats' "The Stolen Child"* and her classmates were saying how cool it was that the fairies were taking the child to make his life better.
F broke her policy of keeping her mouth shut in that class to say, "It is not a good thing to be abducted by fairies!" Her classmates did not agree.
She pointed out that the fairies are giving trout "unquiet dreams" - did that sound like a good thing?
Her classmates pointed out that the child is "solemn-eyed".
"He's bewitched!" she said.
I asked F if they had not read "La Belle Dame Sans Merci". "We just read that in class!" she said. "Thomas Rymer?" *Sigh*.
So we're losing the important parts of our culture that warn us of danger and keep us safe. I fear for the republic.
*Here's the text and here it is beautifully set to music.