The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked  
   And figs grew upon thorn,  
Some moment when the moon was blood  
   Then surely I was born.
Donkeys (1)
With monstrous head and sickening cry
   And ears like errant wings,  
The devil’s walking parody  
   On all four-footed things.
Donkeys (2)
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
   Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,  
   I keep my secret still.
Donkeys (3)
Fools! For I also had my hour;
   One far fierce hour and sweet:  
There was a shout about my ears,
   And palms before my feet.
G.K. Chesterton 1874 - 1936
Donkeys (4)
I have loved this poem ever since I first read it in Palgrave’s Golden Treasury some time in my early teens. Donkeys may not be the most beautiful creatures alive (though I think they have a fuzzy cuteness which few other animals possess) but they are humble and hard-working. Perhaps you are thinking that this is a strange subject for a blog post. But in a society that exalts the stallions of this world, it is easy to forget the weak and the down-trodden, the minorities without a voice; the emarginated; the ‘tattered outlaw(s) of the earth’. In my own round-about way, I wanted to acknowledge them; to reach out to them. To tell them that, in the end, they too will have their moment of glory.
Location: Rabat, April 2012


  1. Hello Loree:
    We too remember the poem from Palgrave's Golden Treasury which we do not imagine for one moment is to be found in schools today!!

    Like you, we have always had a strong affection for donkeys and think of them as lovely animals and cannot bear to think of them misused as, sadly, still does happen in various parts of the world.

  2. What cute pictures ! and the poeme is nice too ! I have always loved donkeys, they look so friendly and are so kind too.

  3. I loved this poem, we had to memorise the verses at school , many years ago.
    This donkey seems at ease in front of your camera, you captured a very important moment during his day, Lunch time!
    Great pictures Loree!

  4. Loree - this is certainly one of the loveliest posts - I too think this poem is wonderful. You took some great photos as well. Bless you for thinking of the downtrodden. They will someday be lifted up!

  5. Oh I loved this post Loree!! The photos are so fantastic and the poem--one that I did not know of--so touching. Merci...I always appreciate what you do.

  6. It is a perfectly fine post, Loree! Beautiful photos and a great poem to go with them. I think the donkey is adorable.

  7. What a beautiful poem that symbolizes the very group that is being most discussed here in the U.S. The parallelism is perfect and often the strongest of these groups becomes the survivors and the bearers of the strength of one generation to another. And those ears...gotta love those EARS!!

  8. Just blog hopped across from HATTAT, and love what I've found.I love the photos and the poem...I will be back ! J.


  9. what a lovely post (i've never read this poem before.) i think donkeys are rather adorable, myself.

  10. Beautiful post and poem! I always love your photos, and the donkey is too cute!
    xoxo, B


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