Rushville Republican


June 10, 2014

Why the poet swooned over June

So how have you been enjoying your June? Did you love the youngsters crying “school’s out”? And their parents simply crying? Are you reveling in June’s really long days? Have you been waiting for your loyal dopey columnist to appear all cultured by tossing off that famous bit of poesy that goesy like soesy: “What is so rare as a day in June?”

You know, doesn’t hearing that famous phrase make you feel like learning lots more about it? Well, tough, I’ve got a deadline and this is my only column idea.

“What is so rare as a day in June” is only one line of several hundred in a looooong poem called “The Vision of Sir Launfal.” It’s about some knights searching for the Holy Grail, featuring characters like King Arthur, his father Uther, his little-known sister Marthar, and their arch-enemy, Lex Luthor.

For those of you who think my weekly columns sometimes go on a bit long, consider this: “The Vision of Sir Launfal” is the equivalent of four of my Republican columns. And, not that my work is in the same league as epic poetry or anything, but if you analyze “Vision” against any four of my columns, you’ll never find a word in either that rhymes with “Launfal.”

A town that’s just like home to me has something in common with the author of “What is so rare as blah, blah, blah.” The poet that wrote it was named James Russell Lowell, and the Indiana town I grew up in was named James Russell Lowell. Actually, it’s just Lowell. Although every couple years there’s a voter referendum about renaming it “Launfal.”

(It may be worth pointing out that the Lowell in which I grew up is the one up in Lake County, and not the unincorporated Lowell down in Bartholomew County. The reason this may be worth pointing out is that it adds 62 words to a column that has to be at least one-fourth as long as “The Vision of Sir Launfal.”)

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