Literary Conspiracy

One thing I love about the internet is its ability to help me recover memories. For instance, I had a memory of a snatch of song whose lyric went “…the crickets sing you a lullaby by the dying fire…” After a search, I discovered that the song is Garten Mother’s Lullabye.

I still don’t know who might have sung this to me or when I may have heard it. The Pirate originally thought  it might have been one of the many songs my grandmother sang to me when I was a child, but considering that my mother doesn’t know it, I find that unlikely.

But now we come to another mystery. I have a clear memory of a poem I read when I was small. I don’t remember the title of the poem, but I do remember it being about Arethusa, a dolphin. It talked about “her suit of unshrinkable gray.” I thought that the poem might have been by Edward Lear, or possibly Ogden Nash. Sadly, neither of those men ever wrote a poem called “Arethusa” or a poem about a dolphin, although Nash did write poems about an eel, a guppy, a jellyfish, an octopus, a shrimp and a turtle.

Where does this memory come from? I grew up in two households (my parents were divorced when I was very young) full of books, so I know that I read it somewhere. I was frankly surprised not to find it on Googles “copy every book in the entire world and put it in our massive database” project currently being deployed by a crack team of not-actual-Google-employees somewhere on Garcia Drive.

The search for Arethusa has begun to take on the feel of a Search for Arcane Knowledge, as I keep seeing the name in unexpected contexts (that is, any context that does not involve Percy Bysshe Shelley or large navy ships) and I feel that it keeps popping up to mock me.

I will find it, though. Before I die, I will.

2 responses

    • I hadn’t even thought of that! That’s a great idea! And, of course, the minute I publish it somewhere, the author or the heirs of the author will immediately denounce me for plagiarism. But this is driving me so crazy, I think I’m willing to risk it.

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