A poem by Robert Bly in the current Atlantic begins with these puzzling words: “The ant moves on his tiny Sephardic feet….”
Of course, in the words of Archibald MacLeish, “A poem should not mean/But be.” Still, is it too much to ask that the words in it convey a little meaning? Why Sephardic feet? Are Sephardic feet any different from Ashkenazic feet (except for being one syllable shorter)?
Is this a Spanish/Portuguese/Moroccan/Turkish ant? Does it eat rice during Pesach?
Actually, the line reminds me of Carl Sandburg’s contention that the fog comes in on “little cat feet” – clearly, Sandburg never had a kitten.