Friday, October 17, 2014

Poetry Friday -- My New Hero

"Time to Dust"

Delight in Disorder
by Robert Herrick

A sweet disorder in the dresse
Kindles in cloathes a wantonnesse:
A Lawne about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction:
An erring Lace, which here and there
Enthralls the Crimson Stomacher:
A Cuffe neglectfull, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly:
A winning wave (deserving Note)
In the tempestuous petticote:
A careless shooe-string, in whose tye
I see a wilde civility:
Doe more bewitch me, then when Art
Is too precise in every part.

Herrick is writing about those who are careless in dressing, but I am taking this poem to heart as a person who is careless in housekeeping, and Herrick is my new hero. Last weekend, I finally got around to dusting took five minutes to Swiffer a few key surfaces in the house. After reading Herrick, I quit beating myself up for the cobwebs, cat hair, and kitchen table clutter. I am choosing to "see a wilde civility," become bewitched, and find the wonderful imprecise Art of our home. (Also giving thanks that Mr. Mary Lee cares less than I do about a clean and tidy house!)

Michelle has the Poetry Friday roundup at Today's Little Ditty.


  1. Anonymous5:58 AM

    This is great, Mary Lee! I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one whose home is one of "wilde civility!" Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mary Lee, I love the phrase "wilde civiility." Clutter is problematic but have to live with it until I can weed out each "retirement" box one at a time while I am in "unretirement" mode.

  3. Love this, Mary Lee, especially Herrick's term, "a sweet disorder." Maybe that is how I should describe my house when all is not orderly, instead of "messy!"

  4. Anonymous10:26 AM

    Wilde Disorder: When one has not yet read any of Oscar Wilde's masterworks. :)

  5. Lovely. And one of the best guests from my mom was a tradition of poor housekeeping, a standard my husband's mom happily passed on to him, too. Five minutes with a vacuum now and then seems just about enough.

  6. Yes, here's to wilde civility! And who was it that said never trust a person with a neat desk?

  7. True that, Mary Lee! Herrick is speaking to me and my cluttered house. = )

  8. Well said, Mr. Herrick and Mary Lee.

    (All the while I'm reading, I'm thinking what a heart attack you must have given your spell-checker as you typed the poem in all its olde English spelling glorie. )

  9. I need to take your advice and try it a bit. I tend to be a bit fitful at how fast the dog hair times two can fill up my new vacuum canister. Bags are better if you a vacuum shopping, you can't see inside the bags! Love the shout out to Mr. Mary Lee!

  10. I'm with you. I'd much rather attend to other arts than housekeeping. Thanks for the delightful Old English verse.

  11. Somehow it comforts me to know other people have trouble keeping up with housework. I'm looking around my house in complete dismay today, and planning for ways to escape outside to the red orange yellow of fall. Thank you!

  12. I wish I could enjoy some wilde civility, but I must admit that I am obsessive about housecleaning. I've tried to break out of the "neat freak" personality, but so far it hasn't worked. Maybe someday... : )

  13. I love your thought, and I raise you one--that wildeness extends to our yard, too. We do the bare minimum, because life is too short for a bunch of housework and yardwork (unless you love it, of course). Poems also benefit from wilde civility--mine tend to be too careful...

  14. You are not alone in your sweet disorder...let's all embrace the wilde civility.


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