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Tell Me a Story

Tell Me a Story
by Robert Penn Warren

[ A ]

Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stood
By a dirt road, in first dark, and heard
The great geese hoot northward.

I could not see them, there being no moon
And the stars sparse. I heard them.

I did not know what was happening in my heart.

It was the season before the elderberry blooms,
Therefore they were going north.

The sound was passing northward.

[ B ]

Tell me a story.

In this century, and moment, of mania,
Tell me a story.

Make it a story of great distances, and starlight.

The name of the story will be Time,
But you must not pronounce its name.

Tell me a story of deep delight.


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Thanks for the poem, Anna. It was refreshing. I love it when poets share their time out moments, like Keats standing alone on the shore of the wide world looking at the stars and thinking till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink or Frost being stopped in his tracks by so many different, compelling things, whether the snowy woods, or those ultimately scary desert places between the stars.

Anna Cate, Thanks for reminding us of that beautiful poem. It makes me think of something I read once: God made man because He loves stories. -Elie Wiesel

Here in the northern suburbs of New York City the geese have taken a fancy to schools, golf courses, and parks with streams and ponds as year-round habitats. My school tried everything to discourage them from blocking traffic and intruding on campus life, including installing fake owls around the pond, using a sound system geared to annoy them, building fences, etc. But what really worked was the acquisition of a brilliant border collie trained to herd geese. She didn't hurt them, but herded them away from the water rather firmly and persistently, and that did the trick.At home, our windows overlook a golf course complete with pond and the inevitable geese, and it wasn't until the managers of the club hired their own team of lively goose-herding collies that the resident birds ceased to outnumber the golfers.

Thank you, Anna.While the rest of us are all honking at one another in the dark on these various threads, you've reminded me that if I shut up for a minute, I will hear one of my favorite sounds--the Canada geese flying home through the night to their winter home at the pond outside of town.And it's almost St. Francis' Day, too!

Where do you live that the Canada geese fly home? Ours will never leave.

Here's what my husband told me from listening to a local nature show on the radio, so it must be true: We live in MIchigan, which is kind of on the southern border of their habitat. So some stay here, but a lot more show up in the fall.Starting about October, you hear them several times a day and into the night. The pond and river around here don't usually freeze over completely , so they hang around there. The ones who come here for the wnter leave in March.

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