Daily poem: Terza Rima stanza 13


‘The world is made this way, for all our talk,’

you take my hand and pluck a wild dog rose,

‘beneath this hedge too, fox and weasel stalk.’

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

74 thoughts on “Daily poem: Terza Rima stanza 13”

    1. Husband always claims he can hear ‘things’ creeping under the window at night. Sometimes the owls keep me away when they’re hunting across the field, but I think he imagines the things under the window.

      1. He’s deaf as a post usually. They’re coming to get him…He’s got a new scythe, a bigger one that he bought second hand on line. But it’s in Bordeaux and son had to pick it up, take it to work with him then back to his apartment where one of the people who he flatshares with was having a nervous breakdown and tried to commit suicide…The giant scythe was really exactly what he needed…not!

      2. My son moves in very wacko circles. They’re all still alive, including the friend who was staying with him who thinks she’s under a spell cast by malicious relatives back in Africa…

  1. Thinking about the first line reminds me of a spanish word cantinflearlet, which basically means talking about nothing important, which is how I think of so many conversations or small talk in general and why I have a hard time sometimes in social settings. Not to say everything I say is monumental but your line about the world being this way ‘for all our talk’ really struck me. When you’re young you think ‘oh I can make a difference!’ as you get older you are palpably aware of not wanting to be an armchair liberal/conservative but equally, that so little of what you feel/do/think/say makes a difference and yet you still feel/do/think/say because to not do would be admitting total defeat and also abdicating oneself out of existence. I was thinking about Alzeimers and how women get it much more than men despite talking far more than men (what it is, 40,000 words per say versus 10,000?) so why would their brains be the ones that deteriorate? I wonder if it’s not the WORDS but something else, that really sits at the root of true communication and how so often talk is cheap. That said, I love to read and reading is talk on pages. Sometimes I imagine we in our intellect have grown beyond our confines and that ignorance and simplicity is best, but the intellectual still holds meaning for me, living in a world where I could not read or write wouldn’t be enough even with the most beautiful countryside. I suppose it’s about balance. Too often we are wedded to something to the detriment of something else. I try to balance things but often I find I fail, mostly in spending too long at the computer, or not long enough reading or not long enough walking – yet even chastising oneself is futile, maybe this speaks of how often we say things that don’t really apply – the self-recriminations – wouldn’t it be lovely to have none of those in our heads? We don’t have to be a critic to be bright and observant, that was what the Austinites thought, but it’s not true, you can be gentle and observant without needing to ‘speak it’ and maybe that’s a good lesson. Anyway these were my ramblings as I read your three lines, quite a lot provoked from those three lines !

    1. I think you’re right. Most words are just bla bla, Most of the conversations in Jane Austen are just fancy footwork. Full of sound but very little fury. They have a social function but some people are content to let them remain the human equivalent of sniffing the other person’s bum. They don’t want them to convey more than the niceties. I heard a French psychologist talking about his opinion that Altzheimer’s is simply a fraud by the drug companies and complicit doctors—it’s what used to be called senility. More people live to great ages, more people go senile. More women live to great ages than men. More women go senile. Makes sense.

      1. I’m rereading Sense and Sensibility and while I love the snide pokes at the idiocy of the fatuous conversations of her characters, it’s so depressing to think that all women were allowed to do in her day was sit at home and wait for the men to come to them and spout rubbish. What a life!

      2. Exactly! I was reading Virginia Woolf’s letters about that exact same thing in the prologue to A Room Of One’s Own and the echoed that sentiment so exactly. Imagine what women in history could have done? Given what despite that, they did do? It makes me admire people like Radcliffe Hall so much more. When I read The Well Of Loneliness I realized what she had to do to pierce that hide of stiffling subjugation, on so many levels. Likewise with the author of My Brilliant Career. Such strength strangled by societal rope. Imagine if the Brontes had lived?

      3. Women who did things when women were even more despised and economically dependent than they are now are to be admired. Having money was a necessity, but it took guts all the same. I suppose the Brontes would have married and anything they achieved would have been attributed to their husbands. Women just never got a fair crack of the whip.

      4. It is true that without money they couldn’t and didn’t do it. So yeah, it’s a certain type of voice isn’t it? But I agree, it took guts no matter what. I can’t help but imagine what literature would be out there if women had a voice earlier. And also lament at what literature was probably quashed and hidden. I fantasize about going back in time and finding ways of getting those women to write it out, it’s far more interesting than doing so today, though any time is good. I just got through reading Angela Carter I adore her, have you read her work? I think you have that same incredible intelligence and fast wit in your writing that she had.

      5. Angela Carter is a writer I keep meaning to read. I’ll do it. You’re right about the fits and starts thing. Some cultures like our western european one have had long periods of regression and when you think about it, they coincide with sexual prudery too. The England of the 18th century (and the early middle ages too) was far more liberal that the Victorian period in terms of what women were allowed to do and that applied to sexual rights too. Tighten up on pleasure and choice, and you get the same phenomenon as the conservative right nowadays, sending women back to the kitchen which takes away their economic independence, and taking away their rights to dispose of their own bodies.

      6. Ah, I would send you one of mine but the post here is INSANELY expensive. But do read her. I know you will like her. Or at least I”m fairly sure. Very right about the comparison between the past and present, it’s actually pretty scary when you see that in black and white isn’t it? And more frightening that MOST people (women) don’t seem to see that … if they did maybe they would break out of the apathy and really become what they could become (truly treated with equality) but not sure that will happen as long as some of them want to ‘please their man and pole dance to do so’ it really sickens me. Here in America the Roe V Wade thing is really being undermined and I truly believe a woman should be able to do what she wants with her body … not advocating mass abortion but definitely don’t like someone else telling a woman what she can and cannot do.

      7. Thank you for telling me about Hypatia! What a wonderful story! The ultimate irony (although pretty predictable) to have been tolerant of the absurdity and intolerance of the Christians and to have been murdered by a Christian mob! She has now become one of my heroines. I’m putting her up there with Beatrice Cenci, who I think should be up there as a role model for human beings, not just girls. Bugger Beyonce.

      8. It is a truly inspirational and brilliant story. There is a wonderful film about her but I found out about her by reading a book about unappreciated (ha!) women scientists. She was a genius. I’m ordering my Bugger Beyonce T-shirt as we speak … agreed about Beatrice. I have a long list, what enrages me is when women choose men as their role models without any nod to another woman or when Bono from U2 wins a prize reserved for women and nobody says a thing. ARGH! I’ll see if I can find that book because you’d love it.

      9. I hope I’m still around when Beyonce gets too old to gyrate half-naked on stage, or when Jay-Z gets caught with another woman. Quid Wonder Woman? It’s a well-known fact that it’s an obligations for new feminists to be in favour of scanty clothing and unbridled sex with butch men who thump them when they get uppity.

      10. Yee Gaads a sorry state of affairs ain’t it? I find a lot of feminists, both the old school and new, disappoint, and that’s a shame as role models for a movement are necessary, tho really our role models should be ourselves and what we decide is right. I used to adore Kate Bush (singer) but then read some dodgy stuff she wrote about men/women that really ticked me off. Sad that you can so relate to someone until you find out how they are really like. Maybe there are always going to be a few people who really are truthbearers and it can be a lonely place until you find them. You are one of them. That along with your sense of humor makes you a definite cherished fixture in my life. Oh and you don’t like unbridled sex with butch men who thump you when you get uppity? What’s not to like? YIKES!

      11. And I don’t like rappers either. Call me racist or reactionary if you like, but I don’t like men who think it’s manly behaviour to exploit women or murder gays.

      12. mmm if someone calls you racist for not liking rappers you could remind them that the first official rapper was Deborah Harry (from the band Blondie) who was a blonde white woman. So boo ya to those who assume everyone is racist for having views that they don’t hold. I know you’re not, and like me, you just find it disgusting how hateful some rap (most) can be. Plus it sounds like crap.

      13. It seems so simple to me—but the pro-lifers use so much smoke and mirrors they don’t see any logic at all—that the core point is this assumption that ‘women’ have to be told things by ‘men’. You know like get approval before they do anything. Who in the name of feck gave any man (because the male rules say any man is better placed to think than every woman) has the right to tell women what to do? Too many women accept to be talked down to and just giggle about it, lapping up the crumbs of attention. Pathetic.

      14. As you can imagine, TX especially now post Ann-Richards is very pro-life and to the extent that they won’t even dialogue with someone who isn’t you are just branded a murderer. BTW I LOVE ‘who in the name of feck’ that just SLAYS me brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Totally agree and it gets me riled up because many women I know are pro-life to the extent that they buy into this without thinking what they are losing by way of CHOICE they are not being told KILL YOUR BABY they are just being given the choice that would be automatically given men were the roles reversed! Can you imagine men ever saying oh no you are right women I won’t choose. Pa! Our error especially as we have chances and we make mistakes that hurt others, thinking we are free. I’m going to say ‘who in the name of feck’ all day now it’s just a given.

      15. I just refuse to let other people foist their pseudo morality onto me. It just beggars belief that we are still stuck in a medieval mindset where we are all supposed to accept that the answer to any moral issue is—because God said so. And if I said, but the Tooth Fairy begs to differ, then what?

      16. Pseudo morality is right. I love that you are unapologetic about your views. Too often I find people mold their views to their audience but that is so insincere and transitory and maybe why things are f’d up to begin with. Aw you’re not going to pick on the tooth fairy are you? 😉 O seriously I couldn’t agree more. BTW my best friend recently moved to Miravet which is about 2 hrs from Barcelona not a million miles away from the Pyrénées-Orientales. Anyway reason I mention it, we’re thinking seriously of relocating from America for all the reasons you can imagine. Such an irony after trying so hard to make it work here but rather than a failure seeing it as … growing. On list is Spain because it’s affordable, and partner speaks fluently but doesn’t speak French. Needless to say if we do it, I’ll be skiing my way over the hills heading in your direction for a visit. One of these days surely.

      17. That would be fantastic! Barcelona has got horribly expensive and just a tad anti-tourist. Not surprising really they get innundated. Why not try Galicia or Asturias? Very politically liberal and green, not arid like southern Spain and the people are Celts 🙂

      18. Definitely wouldn’t touch a large city like Barcelona. Thinking countryside, countryside, countryside. I shall look into Galicia and Asturias. Partner fed-up with well, everything here, and used to live in Spain many years ago. For me I’d have to brush up on Spanish but between that and Trump it’s no contest 🙂 I did hear about the Celts in that part of the world wow you’re right, forgot about that! Probably going to come and check it out within twelve months if health okay, maybe we can break down near your neck of the woods and say hullo and read books in your trees.

      19. I wouldn’t advise climbing the trees. They’re full of insects and the snakes climb, I believe. Maybe in 12 months time we’ll have broken out of camping status and actually got things like a kitchen and a bathroom. I doubt it somehow but we can hope 🙂

      20. Ours are full of those molting giant cicadas at this time too, I find their dried husks all the time it’s pretty gross. Do send more pictures when you can I’m so excited about your progress, I know it must be slow going but you will get there. Proud of you for writing so much in that chaos I don’t know I could, so it makes it even more worthy. You will do it. Have hope.

      21. It’s summer. It’s lovely and cool indoors, and it’s quiet. In the winter it’s freezing cold and gloomy indoors. Showering is torture, but not as grim as spending time in the great room off the barn that passes for a kitchen. It’s insulate or die, I think.

      22. Just asked her and she said she’d been to Galicia and loved it so your suggestion is WIN
        Yes I definitely think insulate because it will get so cold and you may feel brave now but … are people helping or it is the two of you?

      23. No help. We did get an architect in to see how it would be possible to repair some of the glaring shortcomings but the cost she came up with was almost twice what we paid for the house and certainly twice what it would be worth if we wanted to sell it. Artisans are greedy and overpriced. The reason why there is so much empty porperty in France. It’s cheaper to build new than renpvate. Ridiculous state of affairs.

      24. I wish I could help you. I know how hard it can be doing up a house from scratch, my dad did it when I was younger twice and I helped and we did the whole no kitchen thing it’s very hard but it will be worthwhile though I know it’s a long journey. The cost of having help is astronomical isn’t it? You wonder how anyone can afford it, but then there are all the newly rich who seem to effortlessly, I can hardly abide visiting London for that very reason. You are right about it being cheaper to build new than renovate, but how terribly sad. I am glad you are renovating, modern is so desolate.

      25. For the moment it’s just at the stage of filling in holes in the plaster, but I hope husband will at least start on insulating the ceilings before it gets really cold. Yes, it’s so sad the the patrimoine is falling into ruin because so few people can afford to pay the builders.

      26. And then the worst part being the dismal appearance and quality of ‘modern’ structures and how un inviting they are. I wish you progress and insulation and I hope the kids are occasionally stopping by and helping?

      27. Thank you 🙂 They stop by often but there isn’t much they can do. It’s structural work that needs someone who knows what they’re about. Ours don’t know one end of a paintbrush from the other.

      28. I know a lot of DIY but it was learned on the fly and not terribly good, i have a bad habit of attempting things I ought not. Still, you really should be proud being able to write so prodigiously despite all the chaos, that’s a real gift.

      29. It isn’t really chaos. Only if you count the sprinkling of straw that drifts down through the cracks in the attic floorboards (there’s no ceiling) and the mouse droppings (yes, we have two cats but I think they just play with the mice), but I’m sitting in front of a window open onto a meadow, listening to a golden oriole singing and it’s beautiful.
        ps last night I wrote this one thinking of you

      30. It’s that juxtaposition between the madness of mess and the delight of nature spilling into your world. I’d say it was worth it every time. Going to read now. Kinda of thrilled to be thought of whilst you are writing thank you

      31. Indeed. My dad did the bottle design for Gilbeys Gin back in the day, he got a ton of miniatures and guess what little fool aged 14 decided to have a drinking competition with her equally stupid friends? Suffice to say I haven’t touched gin since except for Sloe which is in an entirely different category.

      32. I think Booth’s gin is still made from sloe berries, or else it’s just steeped in them. The others don’t even have a whiff of sloe. What a shame it was the Gilbey contract he got!

      33. Never even heard of her (shame on me). Remind me about her sometime. I have to read Angela Carter first.
        PS Sense and Sensibility is seriously getting on my tits.

      34. No not shame on you, I came across her quite by chance when finding out some stuff I believe about Galaleo (sp) – ha ha ha ha you have made me explode with laughter AGAIN – I must confess it got on mine too when I read it and I never did re-read it. Really think you may like Angela Carter. Do you like Doris Lessing?

      35. I didn’t remember the bit where Elinor starts not only to forgive but feel sorry for the cad and bounder who got one poor girl up the duff, tried it on with her SEVENTEEN year old sister, and dumped them both for an heiress because he couldn’t reconcile himself to living without an extremely lavish lifestyle. WTF????

      36. I’m trying to work out whether Jane Austen is sending up Elinor in the same way she’s taking the piss out of all the rest, but I don’t think she is.

      37. I too wondered at Austin’s intentions with her heroines especially, was she trying to show us the reader the pitfalls, was she commenting wryly on their delusional states? Or was she herself delusional?

      38. I don’t know about her as a human being, but since all her novels stop at the point where maximum happiness is reached ie the engagement, I can’t think she saw anything different for her heroines than for the rest of womankind—babies.

      39. Yep. Reminds me again of what Virginia Woolf said in the introduction to Room of One’s Own, her frustration and this, many years forward. Anyone with a brain can see this, funny how many do not (still) I agree, she stops deliberately, as if she is saying by the omission, something bigger. I think many did this, to get around actually putting it out there and being criticized or censored.

      40. Well, I don’t think there was much university teaching except Oxford and Cambridge and most of the colleges didn’t allow women. Only the really single minded, intellectually brilliant (and rich) women would have gone, and I don’t think Jane Austen was writing about those.

      41. True. In some ways I truly think ‘self taught’ produced some incredible minds though. Brontes being an example. Makes you realize, it’s what you do with what you learn that counts. Today’s university learning is mostly rot

      42. You’d need to be a social historian I think to get it right. The strait jacket of the times would kill me. I prefer to go back much earlier when women did get credit for intelligence and wisdom.

      43. The Boudica days where at least you could fight your way to equality, or so I fantasize.
        Ridiculous isn’t it? That we seem to exist on not a continuum of progress but fits-and-starts. I blame other women in part for not keeping the momentum going, but obviously that’s not the only reason. I did hear recently that ‘young’ pro-women women are not using the word ‘feminism’ as they feel it doesn’t apply and is ‘dated’ but I can’t help chiding at that, because if we keep re-making things in our own image, we spend more time fixing than going forward, it’s the egotism of the young wanting to remake rather than accept some things are right, such as equality. I don’t see that as something that needs updating. We just need to stick at it!

      44. My feelings exactly. They hold up Beyonce as an icon of feminism, they say you can be a feminist and wear a niqab. They’ve lost the plot altogether.
        The ancient cultures that gave women more prestige and independence than women in the first half of the 20th century acknowledged the role that only women could perform and respected it. Maybe because they respected and revered childbearing and maternity they respected other aspects of life than physical strength, and didn’t see why brawn should mean brains and smaller physical size mean smaller brain size. Then you get my pet hate, the Greeks who were ancient, supposedly advanced culturally and placed women somewhere on the evolutionary scale between a frog and a field mouse. Go figure.

      45. Beyonce has a nice voice or did, in the early days, but if she’s a role model now then we are doomed. Of course if you say that you are considered racist but it’s nothing to do with that, it’s to do with our standards slipping. I saw a meme not long ago asking whom we knew with photos of truly talented people versus the Kardasians and they said 90 percent of people recognized the latter and not the former, sort of says everything doesn’t it? People famous for doing ABSOLUTELY nothing and people thinking they are owed fame for doing absolutely nothing. Reality TV had a lot to do with that. Some people live as if they are in a game show. The culture of entitlement without working for it. Youa re so right about the ancient cultures and respecting women differently, we’ve lost that, and our respect of the aged. Oh good Lord I’m with you there, the Greeks were basically a bunch of homosexuals who loathed women, I can say that and mean that, not sure how that happened, but loved the story of Hypatia because of that or inspite of that. Go figure is right. It’s like the cult of absurdity.

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