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Sunday, June 4, 2017

The 7 Days of CryAction 6: 148-232

Caliban

A different duty concerned
the waters: to work out
[150] animals, not “animas
as dryness was ordered to.
This, if I read it rightly,
because ichthyic creatures
have a less perfect life
a less noble nature, and
in a grosser background
their senses are slower:
weak hearing and sight
a benumbed memory
[160] no mental images
no reciprocal recognizing,
in their low life Flesh
& Belly is the boss.
While the land animals
empress is the Soul
to which some ascribe
an immortal intellect:
well-structured senses
an updated data base
[170] maximum memory
fantastic faculties.
Their voice tones express
their feelings perfectly;
happy or sad sounds
convey their condition
or need of nourishment
or “I must mate, now”
all that can no longer lie
under fleece or leather
[180] for example bleats
and neighs and snarls
and howls in the woods
or by rivers running
and lowing and roaring…
a thousand more Nature
can invent by varying.
A water inhabitant
is not only silent but
untamable ’n’ unsociable
[190] nor can human caresses
persuade it to accept
any gift from the grand
lord of the lower world.
In sum: HaShem created
(animated) bodies underwater
(entelechy) souls on earth.
That’s why an ox knows
Dominus, so does a donkey,
while a goldfish is ignorant
[200] because of the bare
obtuseness of its habitat.
Donkeys detect the voices
and paths, as the poor one
of Biblical Bileam did
in his owner’s wanderings;
and a sharper hearing—
many say—no mammal
has with clumsy limbs.
Camels, odd carriers
[210] of bags and Bedouins,
well remember wrongs
and have their revenge:
having been beaten
they keep wrath in store
hidden but suddenly
render evil for evil.
Hear! “Virtue” for many
entails to be relentless
in judgment and grudge.
[220] Now see this simile
depicting precisely you
whose wrath is a sparkle
under apparent ash but
when a lighter blazes
the flame is made up
and hate is hurled out.
So proud was produced
the soul in that spitter
and you do imitate it.
[230] But the birth of human
soul will be told afterwards,
now animals matter.

(to be continued on June 11)