Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quine on Motherhood

Mother’s day should be coming ‘round in about eight months or so;  and to celebrate this glorious occasion, we offer the following heartwarming tribute to Motherhood, from the pen of Professor Dr. Willard “Van” Orman Quine.  This one goes out to all mothers everywhere, wherever and whoever and whatever you may be !!

We in our maturity
have come to look upon the child’s mother
as an integral body  who,
in an irregular closed orbit,
revisits the child from time to time.
-- “Speaking of Objects”, reprinted in Ontological Relativity, p. 7

“Mama”, in particular,
gets set up retroactively
as the name of a broad …
-- ibid, p. 12
[Note:  In quoting this, we have adhered faithfully to the 140-character maximum on modern communications]

More mama !
More water !
More red !
[-- This cri de cœur occurs in Word & Object (1960), p. 92.  I have been obliged to re-arrange the word-order somewhat, so as to observe the metre.]

~     ~     ~

From the mailbag

Here follows a selection of reader responses:

So, I suppose you think that’s funny.  Well let me tell you something.  When you have reached my age, you will realize that it is not.
Humph, I am in a huff over this.
-- Ticked-off in Tulsa

There’s like a typo round about the middle line.
-- Nerd in Nebraska

Thank you, dear, that is lovely.  We mothers are so underappreciated.
Just loved that bit about mothers in orbit -- just like a shining moon!
-- Grateful in Georgia

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