Thursday, May 05, 2011

Prudent Enterprise

No bars are set too close, no mesh too fine
To keep me from the eagle and the lion,
Whom keepers feed that I may freely dine.
This goes to show that if you have the wit
To be small, common, cute, and live on shit,
Though the cage fret kings, you may make free with it.
That's The Sparrow in the Zoo, Howard Nemerov, which I first learned from my daughter, visiting at the  Washington zoo with her boyfriend some years ago.  It struck me so funny I remembered it on the spot (but I refreshed my memory here).  Today the boyfriend, now her husband, is due back at the zoo with their two teen-aged sons.  


New York Crank said...

The poem offers a wonderful thought, but who the hell taught Nemerov that "fine" rhymes with "lion"?

Fie on him!

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

dilbert dogbert said...

The sparrow can make do with small,cute and eats shit. I do a bit of shit eating too but mostly have to make do with money.