Sissy Willis, she who finds beauty in unexpected places, has taken some wonderful photos of a Daddy longlegs netting a lacewing. For Sissy, whose background is in art and design, this conjures up some dance images, which she has posted side by side with her photos. Take a look.
I love those visuals, but for me her photos conjured up an association of a more literary sort: the words to Robert Frost’s “Design.” It’s one of the many poems that illustrate Frost’s complex dark side, and give the lie to his carefully honed image as an folksy avuncular Hallmark-greeting-card kind of guy.
I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth —
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth —
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.
What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?–
If design govern in a thing so small.
Lately a number of moths of the very large and almost-batlike variety have found their way into my house, only to die—but not at the hands of spiders, nor on flowers. As for lacewings, I haven’t had the honor of hosting one yet.