|Random Sample Poem: (refresh for more samples)
I KNEW A HOMINID
Before Lucy became a pile of bones,
When small birds sighed, she would throw rocks at them;
Ah, when she moved, could she have stood or run?
The shapes of fossil bones do not explain!
Of Lucy's virtues scientists will speak,
Hiding ignorance in Latin names, and Greek,
("Australopithecus afarensis," how unique!).
As hypotheses go, we stretched them thin,
How might she turn, and counter-turn, and stand?
With clay we modeled muscle, sinew, skin;
Spent many hours with her ape-like hand;
She was the fossil; I, poor I, a flake,
Had many speculations, all half baked,
But what prodigious theories I did make!
I fleshed her out with clay upon her skull:
Full lips, as if, an errant grub to seize;
I envisioned her: half human yet quite dull,
With eyes and brow resembling chimpanzees,
And simian parts, and mobile primate nose
(All based on speculation, I suppose,
That ran in circles, and those circles moved).
Let bones be cast in silt or tar or clay;
Through processes and circumstance unknown;
Why study rocks? To know eternity?
The ages turned her skeleton to stone.
God alone can count eternity in days,
Yet from old bones I learn man’s wanton ways
(And measure time by carbon’s slow decay).
I had an assignment to write a parody.
I chose one of my favorite poets, and one
of my favorite topics.
One rejection slip from a science magazine
accused me of being a creationist. I'm not.
It's a joke, get over it!
I point out that scientists aren't always perfect,
but the line "God alone can count eternity in days"
is not meant to mean that there is no evolution.
If you really want to know what I believe see the
notes under my poem COSMOLOGY.
- Torre DeVito
This hysterical parody of Theodore Roethke's
"I Knew a Woman" is both funny and spot on in
form, voice and style, and as usual, Torre
gets the science right.
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Torre DeVito is a contemporary American poet who's best known poems are "Commuting"
and "A Long Way
South of Now".
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