Saturday, July 24, 2010


Poem of the Day:
"The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly" by Vachel Lindsay

Once I loved a spider
When I was born a fly,
A velvet-footed spider
With a gown of rainbow-dye.
She ate my wings and gloated.
She bound me with a hair.
She drove me to her parlor
Above her winding stair.
To educate young spiders
She took me all apart.
My ghost came back to haunt her.
I saw her eat my heart.

Everyone has admired someone who seems untouchable.

My friend Abby, whom I met in Ireland, is visiting this weekend. I admire her numerous times over. She makes me laugh like no other person. She is self-deprecating, modest and humble, smart, witty and generous. Her visit thus far has been great.

But my admiration of her has never been self-destructive, never one in which Abby has felt power enough to eat "my wings" (line 5).

I enjoy Lindsay's simplistic language, his blunt delivery. In the final line of his piece he uses this to create a tension between the otherworldly and the human: "My ghost came back to haunt her./I saw her eat my heart" (lines 11-12). The spider, because he acts in the final line, seems to 'win' this war, to successfully overcome the fly. In effect the fly's admiration kills him.

I cannot understand this. I admire myself too much to admire someone in a self-destructive or self-critical way. I learn from others, but, as I like to think, not at the expense of myself.

A Poem A Day Audrey


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