30/30: Day Eight

Week Two, Day One of 30/30...can someone please give me a cookie and a sticker?

And a vodka tonic and a massage?

I kid, I kid. 

I had a lot of fun writing today's poem! So, I woke up around 4 am and couldn't get back to sleep, so naturally, I broke out my laptop and was privy to what early-risers on the East Coast were posting in the wee hours of this morning. In my news feed was a link to a fascinating article, "The Blood Harvest," by Alexis C. Madrigal, which taught me not only so many new things about horseshoe crabs, but also about the "idea that every single person in America who has ever had an injection has been protected because we harvest the blood of a forgettable sea creature with a hidden chemical superpower." 

A still from the PBS Nature documentary   Crash.  (PBS) 

A still from the PBS Nature documentary Crash. (PBS) 

If you've read this far, you should totally do yourself a solid and read the article. And watch this video. And this video.  And this one, too. 

I love it when I find something in the world fascinating enough in its mere facts to captivate my attention and spark my imagination. Also, I really like writing odes; I don't think that I've really written that many (if, any) successful odes, beyond poems-as-exercises, but I find them to be wonderful exercises for a number of reasons:

  • It's lovely to be in praise of something, to meditate upon and honor a part of the world through further examination and the flights of one's imagination; it reconnects me back to being a child and feeling genuine wonder and awe about the terrific complexity of the world. 
  • I like the tradition of odes. One of my favorite classes in grad school was Garrett Hongo's Poetic Genres seminar; as I wrote my own ode today, I referred back to some of my old notes on The Ode:

"poetic knowledge and pomp --> used to elevate the intimate space; elevation of intimate and immediate contact; inverts public function; focuses on the inner light of the poet."

"Basic Formula of the Plain Ode:

  • apostrophe
    • address to absent or mute subject, plot already implied, potential in rhetoric, rehearsal of relationship
  • Strophe
    • praise , description, anecdote, history
      • all  a rehearsal of the relationship
  • Antistrophe
    • direct address to cut through what precedes; this is the “what the fuck?”—the reason for this address
  • Epode
    • resolution, personal interpretation, history"
  • Not quite sure I did all that work in today's poem (GAH THERE'S NEVER ANY TIME WHEN YOU WRITE A NEW POEM EVERYDAY) but, it was good to delve back into my notes. 
  • In high school, Pablo Neruda's odes were favorites of mine. I loved his elevation of the mundane and the ecstasy of his language as he meditated upon and praised such a wide array of objects and concepts: Ode to the Tomato, Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market, Ode to My Socks, Ode to Laziness, Ode to Salt, Ode to Broken Things...and on and on and on. I loved that a man could be so enthralled with the world. Hahahaha, I also loved how much he wrote in praise of food. A man after my own heart. 
  • Yeah. So. I like odes. And being enthralled. 

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