Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Love this poem from today's Poem a Day. It gives new meaning to the idea that poets are all liars, embellishers, story-tellers, myth-makers.

On The Origins Of Things
by Troy Jollimore

Everyone knows that the moon started out
as a renegade fragment of the sun, a solar
flare that fled that hellish furnace
and congealed into a flat frozen pond suspended
between the planets. But did you know
that anger began as music, played
too often and too loudly by drunken performers
at weddings and garden parties? Or that turtles
evolved from knuckles, ice from tears, and darkness
from misunderstanding? As for the dominant
thesis regarding the origin of love, I
abstain from comment, nor will I allow
myself to address the idea that dance
began as a kiss, that happiness was
an accidental import from Spain, that the ancient
game of jump-the-fire gave rise
to politics. But I will confess
that I began as an astronomer—a liking
for bright flashes, vast distances, unreachable things,
a hand stretched always toward the furthest limit—
and that my longing for you has not taken me
very far from that original desire
to inscribe a comet's orbit around the walls
of our city, to gently stroke the surface of the stars.


1 comment:

William James said...

From my educational background a myth doesn't mean a lie. In the study of mythology, a myth is a story that contains truth.

A myth is only a falsehood from a literalistic culture such as western civilization has become since the Renaissance. It wasn't very long ago when (night time) dreams still transmitted important knowledge.

I wonder if this literalistic black-n-whiteism isn't a byproduct of the printing press and the destruction of the oral memory.

Poets are story-tellers, yes. Poets are embellishers of truth, yes. Poets are myth-makers, yes. But poets are not (necessarily) liars.