Sunday, January 14, 2018

Poetry Sunday

We're two weeks into the new year, and it's the first Poetry Sunday of 2018. This poem by Catherine Abbey Hodges seemed appropriate for a a time of year for looking both backward and forward, for things we remember, and for other things are live in their shadows.

January Song 
by Catherine Abbey Hodges 

Lord Byron died the very year
that sperm were proved,
beyond all doubt, to be
essential to fertilization.
No more virgin births. That year
Beethoven’s Choral Symphony
astounded the air. He was guided
gently to face the audience
that rose in an ovation
he couldn’t hear. Tears
were everywhere. Who remembers
J.L. Prevost or J.B. Dumas
or knows how they unraveled
the mystery of sperm? That same year
workers finished the Erie Canal
and Simon Bolivar was proclaimed
Emperor of Peru. The canal workers
didn’t know or care about Peru
nor did they hear the “Ode to Joy.”
My great-great grandmother was born
that year, to later travel the length
of the canal. Three hundred million
sperm swim up the birth canal.
A few thousand reach the oviduct.
The ovum chooses one (on rare
occasions more). Then, as usual,
life went on. Joseph Aspdin developed
Portland Cement while the U.S.
House elected John Quincy Adams when
the voters couldn’t make up their minds.

Have a good day. Agnes and I are traveling, and so the next post will appear on Friday, when we revisit Great Moments in Editing and Signage. See you then!



Mike said...

The race is on!

Insane Penguin said...

A fascinating poem!

allenwoodhaven said...

Very thought provoking and evocative!