Poet Annette Wong plays with the story of the ant and the grasshopper in response to the theme of "Fools" from Proverbs 13:18-20.
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18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honored.
19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
As I was thinking about Proverbs 13:18-20 I was reminded of fables my mother read to me when I was young. Fables, like Proverbs, teach and correct. One of the most fabled fools in my memory of Aesop’s tales is the idle grasshopper, who fails to prepare for winter. Despite the urging of his friend, the ant, the grasshopper piddles his summer away. His days are sweet, filled with song and dance but when winter comes, he’s left to freeze on his rickety hind legs with nothing to eat. Some of the hardest words to stomach are “I told you so.” A fool is someone who needs telling so. Or is told so but chooses not to listen.
Annette Wong is a 2008 Poetry VONA-ite under the tutelage of Suheir Hammad. She was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Beijing and Hong Kong. She received her B.A. in History and International Studies from Yale University, where she was a member of Jook Songs, Yale’s Asian American Writing and Performance Group. In 2007-08 Annette was a part of New Life Fellowship Church’s Writers’ Group where she had the good fortune of meeting Emily Ruth Hazel. She currently resides in Los Angeles, where she practices civil rights law.