The Sheep Child

I’m pondering a recent search termI found on my dashboard that someone used to find this blog; “babies made from horses and women” and my first thought was, of course, how miserable do you have to be to even come up with something like that?  It was a “what-the-heck’s-up-with-Imus” kind of moment; one of those times when you see or hear something and you cannot imagine how the mind of man or woman could create the horrid phenom.  Then I realized that the author of this search has something in common with one of our great American poets, James Dickey, because the search made me think of his very good poem filled with horror and pathos, The Sheep Child.

The poem is enough to make you weep with a terrible sorrow and pity for the misbegotten thing in the poem, who took “one meal of milk” and died.  But the thing itself, it also has sorrow and pity for humans, creatures from its “father’s house” how are themselves so sad and desperate about love, life, sex.  The humans that the Sheep Child sees are lonely and uncomprehending, full of self-loathing for what they have done and what they must keep on doing.

That’s one of the things I like about the blogosphere, how ideas ping and pong off of each other even when they are not proposed as topics for discussion and debate (“Resolved: that the search term ‘babies made from horses and women’ is agitprop for early 21st century Americans” or whatever).


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