[Fergus] Be no more a king
But learn the dreaming wisdom that is yours...
- W.B.Yeats, "Fergus and the Druid"
Half a block east of my home is a small neighborhood park I call the
When we first moved to this neighborhood, I was struck by how many of the dogs in the
One day a woman came running after me to strike up a conversation. Bounding with her was a beautiful and puppy-wild Irish setter who jumped up and licked my face. "This is Fergus," she made the introduction.
"Fergus. That's a very Celtic name."
"Yes. I got it from the poem by Yeats."
Almost in the same breath, we started reciting the poem.
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all disheveled wandering stars.
As we came to the last line, I looked down and noticed that, in the dark, I had put on mismatched socks. One had the pattern of stars, another an animal pattern. That morning, I joked, I was the "disheveled wandering star" - all the more since I had to rush to the airport to fly off and give a lecture and would not take time to change my socks.
Since then, every single time I have met Fergus in the