The late Gene Wilder quoted the first two lines of Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s poem Ode in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Google happened to use that line in the audio for their Year In Search 2016 video (see below and bring a tissue.) Inspired, I decided to share the full poem. It’s fitting for the ending of a tumultuous year and anticipation that always builds with the beginning of the new.
✷ Ode ✷
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
And as promised, the video…
So here we are, one year ends and another begins. Keep loving. Keep fighting. Keep dreaming. And above all keep creating. The world needs your voice.
Have a safe and happy New Year.
So, this Saturday I stepped out to empty some recycling. It was rainy and cold, and when I got to the street I heard a meowing sound. I emptied the recycling and noticed that the meowing persisted. My neighbor has a cat, the cat sometimes meows, I figure the cat had been locked outside and was upset. Makes sense right? So, I look around…there’s no cat and the meowing continued.
Eventually, I figured out that noise was coming from above me. When I looked up there was a crow perched on a power line…meowing. I stood stunned for a while shocked at how accurate a mimic the crow was. Finally I came to my senses and ran inside to grab my phone so I could record a video of him performing. The result is the video above. I wish it was longer—the crow flew off shortly after I shot this—but you can definitely hear the little guy mimicking a meow.
So, I submit to you this video as further evidence that crows are not only smart, but pretty much the best. I’m glad we can all be in agreement. If you want to learn more about the intelligence of the corvid family I highly recommend this video from NOVA, it goes into great detail and is well worth the watch.
(Oh, something book related, right: only 7 days until the Old Broken Road cover is revealed! Woohoo!)
Yep, “The Stars Were Right” is getting real paper books! Here’s the proof in my first video post! Let me know what you think in the comments.