Posted Sunday morning, October 21, 2018.
I’m pretty sure the image of the “tiny grandmothers laughing at everything” is an allusion to R.A. Lafferty’s science fiction fable “Nine-Hundred Grandmothers”. Makes sense if it is. Other science fiction and fantasy writers would naturally have been part of Le Guin’s literary and poetic vocabulary. And more and more the metaphors and imagery that make up the myths of our collective subconscious are drawn from science fiction and fantasy, and Le Guin herself is a major contributor.
“Ancestry” by Ursula K. Le Guin, collected in “So Far So Good: Final Poems 2014-2018”…
I am such a long way from my ancestors now
in my extreme old age that I feel more one of them
than their descendant. Time comes round
in a bodily way I do not understand. Age undoes itself
and plays the Ouroboros. I the only daughter
have always been one of the tiny grandmothers,
laughing at everything, uncomprehending,