What's In a Name

In my town there's a public garden named for Alice Keck Park, who I guess was some sort of philanthropist. The problem is that people think the name of the garden is Alice Keck Park -- what with her last name also being the name of the thing that's being named. So to be perfectly correct we should call it Alice Keck Park Park. There's a similar problem up at the rose garden in front of the mission, there's a whole bed of roses named in honor of another garden philanthropist named Helen Thorne. What are the odds? Will I, too, end up with a little patch of grass named after me?

Coincidentally, here's a poem on something close to the subject by W. D. Snodgrass.

These Trees Stand . . .

These trees stand very tall under the heavens.

While they stand, if I walk, all stars traverse

This steep celestial gulf their branches chart.

Though lovers stand at sixes and sevens

While civilizations come down with the curse,

Snodgrass is walking through the universe.

I can't make any world go around your house.

But note this moon. Recall how the night nurse

Goes ward-rounds, by the mild, reflective art

Of focusing her flashlight on her blouse.

Your name's safe conduct into love or verse;

Snodgrass is walking through the universe.

Your name's absurd, miraculous as sperm

And as decisive. If you can't coerce

One thing outside yourself, why you're the poet!

What irrefrangible atoms whirl, affirm

Their destiny and form Lucinda's skirts!

She can't make up your mind. Soon as you know it,

Your firmament grows touchable and firm.

If all this world runs battlefield or worse,

Come, let us wipe our glasses on our shirts:

Snodgrass is walking through the universe.