Saturday, December 31, 2011

The End of Science Fiction: Poem In Your Post

The End of Science Fiction

This is not fantasy, this is our life.
We are the characters
who have invaded the moon,
who cannot stop their computers.
We are the gods who can unmake
the world in seven days.

Both hands are stopped at noon.
We are beginning to live forever,
in lightweight, aluminum bodies
with numbers stamped on our backs.
We dial our words like Muzak.
We hear each other through water.

The genre is dead. Invent something new.
Invent a man and a woman
naked in a garden,
invent a child that will save the world,
a man who carries his father
out of a burning city.
Invent a spool of thread
that leads a hero to safety,
invent an island on which he abandons
the woman who saved his life
with no loss of sleep over his betrayal.

Invent us as we were
before our bodies glittered
and we stopped bleeding:
invent a shepherd who kills a giant,
a girl who grows into a tree,
a woman who refuses to turn
her back on the past and is changed to salt,
a boy who steals his brother’s birthright
and becomes the head of a nation.
Invent real tears, hard love,
slow-spoken, ancient words,
difficult as a child’s
first steps across a room.
                  - Lisel Mueller

This is my pick for Poetry Out Loud.  Any poem that gives me a shiver and speaks a truth I didn't know I knew is a poem I'm ready to learn and perform.  Plus, it boasts many allusions to mythology that my students will "get", a true bonus.

If you're a parent, student, teacher, or poetry lover, you will admire and enjoy the offerings at the Poetry Out Loud website, which also provides information about this nationwide poetry performance contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with state arts councils.

What's your poem du jour?  Post the poem or a link to it in the comments below...



Parrish Lantern said...

GreenStick (Ku'damm St)

The movement was studied,
each step choreographed:
a shined
mannequins strung out on a limb
tho poised
All absolutes are dead
weighed correct,
the mask was Phobos.
She answered my question on chaos,
with chaos.

Anonymous said...

This is the same poem I chose for poetry out loud. It truely speaks to our times and the rut we have fallen into as a society

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