Mnemosyne Meanders

by Lewis Turco

"In 2013, when an OED staff member sought to look at the source material for the dictionary's entry for ‘revirginize,’ for which a passage from Meanderings of Memory [by ‘Nightlark’] is quoted, the publication could not be located." Wikipedia entry.

Nightlark! How Mnemosyne meanders,
Mawkishly bewilders us, meanders
Across our bookish landscape like the ganders

Of Mother Goose whose doughty definitions
Enter O. E. D. with strange renditions —
Nightlark, how Mnemosyne meanders

From source to source across the generations.
What source, if any, caused these generations
Across our bookish landscape? Ganders!

Cullings! Frantic pedants made to pore
Through nonexistent tomes, forced to pour
Kegs of sweat while memory meanders

Hither, thither, yon…were these words born
From nowhere…or perhaps a book of porn?
Across the bookish landscape, like her ganders

Chasing Mother Goose, we sweat; our pants
Bellow from our collars to our pants —
Nightlark, how Mnemosyne meanders
Across the years like literaryganders!