Monday, May 17, 2010

Check out this poem from today's Poem a Day, From Nick Lantz's We Don't Know We Don't Know (formatting lost). I blogged about the book a couple months ago, and am happy to see it is getting around:

Ancient Theories by Nick Lantz

A horse hair falls into the water and grows into an eel.
Even Aristotle believed that frogs
formed from mud,
that mice sprouted like seedlings in the damp hay.

I used to believe the world spoke
in code. I lay awake
and tried to parse the flashes of the streetlight—
obscured, revealed,
obscured by the wind-sprung tree.
Stranded with you at the Ferris wheel's apogee
I learned the physics
of desire—fixed at the center,
it spins and goes nowhere.

Pliny described eight-foot lobsters
sunning themselves
on the banks of the Ganges. The cuckoo devouring
its foster mother. Bees alighting
on Plato's young lips.

In the Andes, a lake disappears overnight, sucked
through cracks in the earth.
How can I explain
the sunlight stippling your face in the early morning?

Why not believe that the eye throws its own light,
that seeing illuminates
the world?
On the moon,
astronaut David Scott drops a hammer and a falcon feather,
and we learn nothing
we didn't already know.


Diego Hatake said...

Hello! My name is Diego and I happened to find your page, you got a very interesting blog... but I'm curious about one thing: you have a Portuguese surname, right? This surname is very common here in Brazil. Are you from Brazil, or maybe you have some brazilian or portuguese parents? Sorry if I'm kinda invasive but I found this fact very interesting.
And sorry for the lame English. XD

Emily Lloyd said...

He had me at "Stranded with you at the Ferris wheel's apogee." (well, probably before...mice sprouted like seddlings...and later, the lobsters, Plato's lips). Nice.

Peter said...

Hi Emily: check out Lantz's book if you get a chance. It's a terrific read.

Diego: My Portuguese heritage is on my father's side, via Hong Kong. His ancestors migrated there, probably during the Inquisition in the 1400's. It's a facinating history, the world-wide Portuguese diaspora. One good book about it is The Cross and the Pear Tree, by Victor Pereira.