“Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.” Neil Gaiman
I made the mistake (typo-I do know how to spell) when I typed in the title to this post. I thought it was humorous due to the seriousness of the subject.
Anyway, according to the prompt today is not a writing day, but a reading day. So I will not be writing about perfection. Read some poetry and comment on it, the prompt advised.
But before I share a poem, another quote, this one from Ralph Barton Perry: “A man can do his best only by constantly seeking (and perpetually missing) an unattainable perfection.”
Since we learned the poetic form of an elegy, I dub out my favorite poetry book and searched for the poet who reached near perfection. Found this one by Oliver Goldsmith written in 1766 that would be nice to share. I like the twist. It’s a little lighter compared to Thomas Grays’ lengthy poem: Elegy written in a Country Church- Yard.
An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog
Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.
In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene’er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad and bit the man.
Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.
The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That showed the rogues they lied:
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.
So yes, I enjoyed my little diversion into “One Thousand Poems for Children” compiled in 1945 by Elizabeth Hough Sechrist and published by Macrae-Smith-Company. This well used volume has had a home on our library shelf for many years. The book is sold (not pricey) on Amazon if you’re curious.