I remember when I was at Lilliput, the complexion of those diminutive people appeared to me the fairest in the world; and talking upon this subject with a person of learning there, who was an intimate friend of mine, he said that my face appeared much fairer and smoother when he looked on me from the ground, than it did upon a nearer view, when I took him up in my hand, and brought him close, which he confessed was at first a very shocking sight. He said, "he could discover great holes in my skin; that the stumps of my beard were ten times stronger than the bristles of a boar, and my complexion made up of several colours altogether disagreeable:" although I must beg leave to say for myself, that I am as fair as most of my sex and country, and very little sunburnt by all my travels.
— Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
*The Society for Unclean Enjoyment
And yet, the feather is still quite fair up close. . .
I think so, too. And so is a snake up close, and a slug, and piece of dung hoary with fungi. So many living things are beautiful up close, but as for us humans, perhaps there's a reason that we begin to lose our close-up sight as soon as we theoretically gain the ability to write non-sophomoric love poetry.
I never learned how to write non-sophomoric love poetry--alas. But the vision went. . .
Maybe you should get bionic eyes! I did, and am thinking of now adding to my love poetry oeuvre with an epic-length love poem this time – to a dung beetle of course. If only we had the complexion of a dung beetle for life!
I love Christmas beetles: yes, indeed they are extravagant but by golly they look good, they shine like sunbeams.
As to Jonathan Swift, HE looks good up close, and grows better with age
If the Christmas beetles rule us secretly, you are up for a fabulous immortality. I couldn't agree with you more about them (and Swift!), but you put it so freshly. Christmas beetles have been pretty rare here this year, only in any numbers at the tideline. How about in Warragul?
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