United States, (1900-1985)
The Laughing Faces of Pigs
- Eight young pigs in a row look at me from the trough,
- eight laughing faces waiting for their food.
- Am I so funny seen from a pig’s eyes?
- No, they’d look the same at any stick or beam.
- Nothing can make a pig look sad; his face
- is built wrong for it; his mouth curls up;
- his eyes are formed into a grin; his nose
- wrinkles with laughter at every move he makes.
- Is it so many centuries of good nature,
- no inhibitions, no worry of neighbor opinion,
- that leaves its stamp upon the faces of his race?
- Or does it go back further?
- I sometimes think
- the soil’s good humor runs inside his veins.
- Maybe the earth herself had a good belly laugh
- the era that she first gave birth to pigs.
Barnyard Year. New York: Harper, 1950.
About the Poet
Fred Lape (1900-1985), was a poet, teacher, farmer, and writer. He published extensively in US newspapers and magazines and wrote several books and volumes of poetry.
Lape was raised in Esperance, New York, near the 97-acre farm which became the Landis Arboretum. He was educated at Cornell and taught at Stanford and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. [DES-6/03]