I'm genuinely torn as to whether this or "A Token" is my favorite of Robert Creeley's short poems. When they get longer than a page, I'm torn between "The Numbers", "Poem for D.H. Lawrence", "The Door", and probably some others I can't think of right off the top of my head. But this little piece is so charming I slip it into letters and cards whenever I get the chance: it's such a delightful, open yet hesitant invitation to a meeting of the minds, and perhaps a longer, more meaningful correspondence. On the other hand, I know both this poem and "A Token" by heart, but the latter is the only poem I have ever attempted to translate into American Sign Language. So it's a toss-up, I guess. Go read "A Token" next.

You send me your poems,
I'll send you mine.

Things tend to awaken
even through random communication.

Let us suddenly
proclaim spring. And jeer

at the others,
all the others.

I will send a picture too
if you will send me one of you.

Robert Creeley

Book #31 in the series Animorphs by K.A. Applegate.

Disclaimer: If you've heard of Animorphs and you're thinking "Aww, how cute," maybe you should read my introduction to the first book to see how wrong you are.

THE CONSPIRACY

Animorphs #31
by K.A. Applegate

Summarized Plot:

Jake's great-grandfather dies, requiring the whole family to go out to a cabin for funeral-related events for four days. Since his brother Tom is a Controller, this is trouble for the Yeerk in his head. Jake's dad won't let Tom skip the functions, so the Yeerks try first to infest his father and then to kill him. Jake and the Animorphs manage to prevent these attacks from succeeding, but Jake is coming apart at the seams and making bad decisions because he's too close to the issues, so Marco is running the show. Finally, they decide to cause an attack of their own to distract the Yeerks from caring about Tom's Yeerk, and they kidnap Chapman because he's a more powerful Controller. This plan works and ends up forcing Tom to go to the cabin with the family, but he's got plans of his own and tries to kill their father himself with one of his dead great-grandfather's war heirlooms. Jake's friends, knowing he'd need their support, foil this plan and injure Tom so he has to be taken back to civilization, thus stopping any more attempts on their father's life. Jake learns that he needs to trust Marco and the others to see when he is not equipped to head up a mission, and he has some realizations about war that he and his great-grandfather surely shared.

About this book:

Narrator: Jake

New known controllers:

  • None

New morphs acquired:

  • Jake: None
  • Cassie: None
  • Marco: None
  • Rachel: None
  • Ax: Osprey (maybe a mistake?)
  • Tobias: None

Notable:

  • This book was ghostwritten by Laura Battyanyi-Weiss.

  • Jake is said to have a "Grandpa G" in this book who identified him at a young age as having an "old soul." It's not clear whether the grandfather knew something he shouldn't have, but it's written as just an incidental comment about Jake's demeanor. Grandpa G was quite right.

  • This book expresses that Jake and Rachel are related through Jake's father's side, which means Grandpa G was not Rachel's grandpa since he was related to his mother. Also, Jake's dad is a doctor.

  • Ax uses an osprey morph in this book. Previously, his main bird morph has been a northern harrier, and he never uses an osprey morph before or after this book. More than likely this was an author mistake and Ax was supposed to use his northern harrier morph, but the text specifies that he was an osprey, so maybe he's incidentally supposed to have acquired it in this book or a previous one.

Best lines:

Ax: "I will gladly fight this Controller and even, in fair battle, kill him, but I am not a torturer."

Jake: "Christmas, when they were all homesick in their foxholes, they sang 'Silent Night.' The enemy sang it, too, in German. Far off they heard it. Both sides lonely for their homes. Both sides wishing the war was over."

Tom: "You think everything is so simple, don't you? That it's all either right or wrong, black or white. A good guy, a bad guy, and nothing in between."
Jake: No, Yeerk, I don't. Not anymore. I used to. But I've been across the line; I've done things I cant let myself think about. I know all about the shades of gray.

Jake: "You're my best friend, Marco. If you ever again tell me I'm losing it, getting too involved, can't lead--"
Marco: "You'll kick my butt?"
Jake: "No. I'll listen. I'll listen. Then I'll kick your butt."



Next book: The Separation, Animorphs #32

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