Huginn and Muninn

Culture, Poetry, The Life of the Mind

My friend, whom I’ve never really met
asked if I’d write a poem on David Stove,
philosopher. I don’t know much about
him, although I’ve heard he didn’t like
blacks very much, or ladies, or ravens
or Kant or Platonists or much at all.

Now, philosophy isn’t all
bad; it has its uses. But have you met
a Platonist you’d watch a Steelers-Ravens
division game with? You’d want to stove
his head in before halftime, like
you know he’d be that guy who’s on about

the sublimated homo stuff. About
the third commercial break, third beer, we’d all
make our excuses. Look, no one likes
to think about their likes. I’ve met
enough philosophers to know that Stove
had a point about the paradox of ravens,

or at least about the guys who think that ravens
are of formal interest. Of course, the thing about
these birds is that they use tools, but Stove
thought sociobiology was all
—and a priori—crap, although it met
his preference for induction. He’s sort of like

that friend of yours who says he really likes
the outdoors but can’t tell hawks from ravens,
and brings back wet firewood, who met
the need to shit outside with a rant about
how man is not an animal. You all
wanted to roast him on the camp stove.

Now, this is not to shit on David Stove.
I’m a contrarian myself. I like
a scholar who thinks his discipline is all
or mostly bunk. But the truth about ravens
is not that they are black, but that about
when man un-animaled himself, he met

something like himself in the birds, he met
thought and mind; all fathers sat about
the winter stove, making myths of ravens.

10 thoughts on “Huginn and Muninn

  1. Saw some ravens in southern Utah this week. If I had a spirit animal, it would be the raven. Don’t know about philosophers. Guess I’m open to the idea in the classical, not the professional sense.

    Neat poem.

  2. I’m a stranger and we have never met,
    If the host is opening requests or bets for oz content,
    Could he pen a stanza on that other guy that no one likes?
    You know the friend with the gorilla stapled chest who rides his bike?
    The one that gets his kicks from circus tents,
    Never seams to split his pants,
    and sometimes pretends that you’ve never met?

    Thanks in advance,

  3. Regarding Ravens and their kin folk:

    It seems to fit, to my ‘feeble [female]’ thought process that the corvidae family appears to dominate the skyline in Sly Con Valley, California …….

    The Crows are so Huge that one thinks they are actually Ravens, …. and the Blue Jays (very, very close cousins of the shiny jet black winged), jesus! ……they are huge. …ancient survivors … mocking – …from the dizzyingly high branches of the ever green ‘red woods’ and now fiberoptic ‘phone wires’ – cheap and tawdry $ociopaths who really believe they are, and DESERVE TO BE!!!! [Demand To BE!!!!] PHYSICALLY … IMMORTAL –

    I was unable to determine whether it was a squirrel or a Jay who buried sunflower seed I had put out for the mourning doves (also prevalent in Sly Con Valley) in a perfect winding row which so touched me when they blossomed so perfectly.

    1. (truth be told, it was a seed mix I put out … and, thinking on it, I’m betting that the mourning doves were more inclined to favor those tinier seeds … more favorable to a far smaller beak. Therefore, my bet on a long beaked corvidae, or sharp toothed squirrel, both of whom prefer a bit more ‘meat.’)

      1. (it is painful beyond belief, ….. witnessing mourning doves attempting to build nests in places most devoid of nurture, ….over and over and over again; ………….. having, apparently, been informed by their proclaimed thought leaders – that they are attempting to build a safe nest in the best of locales for nest building….)

  4. The bleakly ‘funny’ thing is, … as a child …. I always thought “mourning” doves was spelt “morning” doves, in The King’s and Queen’s English.

    I guess my quite loving parents did not wish to ‘disabuse’ me of hope and change for the better , …… perhaps feeling, themselves, that they may be eyeing their bleaker of realities with a too cynical outlook, ….given all THE STATE pom poms (or however one wants to spell them, pomp poms?) insidiously surrounding them in all they do.

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