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napowrimo #17

April 17, 2010

There’s something I love about the #17. It’s a visual thing and also an auditory thing. It looks and sounds so sure of itself. I’m less sure of myself than the #17, but it does feel good to be digging into the second half of NaPoWriMo.

Today’s Poetic Asides prompt is write a science poem. I was at an open mic from 7 p.m. last night until 4 a.m. today, so I am tired and have no ideas of my own. I went to the part of my bookshelf that I stock with science, history and fact books I’ve picked up from bargain bins for the specific purpose of writing inspiration. I grabbed “50 physics ideas you really need to know” where I found the Newton quote I use as the first epigraph.

One thing you should know about me is that I’m terrible with science. It fascinates me now, but in junior high and high school, you couldn’t even bribe me to engage. You couldn’t even threaten me to engage. We had tracks back then, and I was in the college track, which meant a bunch of things, among them a chemistry course that bored and baffled me. It took some doing but I convinced them to let me drop the class (I was an A student, but in chemistry I was struggling with a D). They placed me in “physics for dummies” instead, in order to fulfill my science requirement. In that class, we watched movies. Most of them had nothing to do with physics.

That tangent may end up having nothing to do with poem except as an apology to any physicists out there. Not only may I get my facts and theories jumbled because I just don’t understand physics, but also I may create a mixed-up picture because I’m a poet — it’s one of my jobs to run things together.




I’m looking forward to working with this one some more!!!

Tally: 19 = 7.0 RWP + 10.5 PAD + 1.5 Book of Kells. (Target is now 32.)

  1. April 17, 2010 12:34 pm

    Wow! Carolee this a very powerful poem. The last stanza really made think. Excellent!

    • April 17, 2010 1:28 pm

      thank you, pamela, and for being such a loyal reader. 🙂

  2. April 17, 2010 1:06 pm

    This is good, truly. Appears so effortless.

    • April 17, 2010 1:28 pm

      not effortless. i burnt a pizza in the oven while i was writing it. didn’t hear the time go off at all!! 🙂

  3. April 17, 2010 1:26 pm

    Have you ever noticed that the best metaphors for love are the ones that don’t involve actual biology? We talk about people having “chemistry” or being “physically attractive”. Love can be “electrifying” and “volatile”. But it’s never like, “Man, this girl is EVOLUTIONARY.”

    Anyway, the love/physics connection is always a good one, and you worked a nice amount of depth into the poetic batter. Genetic!

    • April 17, 2010 1:27 pm

      ah, but i do believe “the big bang theory” is mentioned once or twice. 🙂

  4. April 17, 2010 1:51 pm

    Wow. Fantastic. I hadn’t read the Poetic Asides prompt yet today… And you have everything correct, too. Starting and ending with inverse squares ties everything together very well.

    (And yes, I’m a scientist / mathematician / confused person.)

    • April 17, 2010 1:58 pm

      thanks, jason! glad i got some of it close to the real science. my only hope was choosing something (love) no one can prove as my metaphor. 🙂

      • April 18, 2010 9:15 pm

        I try to prove love frequently. It has worked so far…

  5. April 17, 2010 2:12 pm

    Terrific, Carolee!

  6. April 17, 2010 3:06 pm

    Great poem. Well wrought and well thought.

  7. April 17, 2010 6:05 pm

    Carolee, I just love this poem so much, it’s busy doing a lot of things on several levels. I like the fast start and the links between scientific attraction and the more mysterious attractions that are part of our humanity. This made me think, feel and wonder. An outstanding poem!

    • April 18, 2010 9:37 pm

      thank you, JD. i like busy poems, so i’m pleased you think this is one of them!

  8. April 17, 2010 6:07 pm

    I liked this one too (and am struck by Joseph’s observation).

    • April 18, 2010 9:39 pm

      hi, dave! i love hearing people’s observations. 🙂

  9. April 17, 2010 8:28 pm

    I think the poem’s great, and the science looks fine to me. Mind you, my knowledge of physics is about forty years out of date, and I haven’t really got to grips with string theory, though I keep meaning to.
    Best to get it written, and fine tune the accuracy later 🙂

    • April 18, 2010 9:40 pm

      ah! string theory! i have no idea what it is. that’s why my only reference to it is to say it makes us tongue tied. 🙂 i do have another poem that mentions it. i should dig it up. …

  10. April 17, 2010 11:38 pm

    This is a great piece of writing Carolee, and I enjoyed the glance behind your soul curtain here…


    • April 18, 2010 9:41 pm

      thank you, rob. let me know if you find any loose change back there behind the soul curtain. i haven’t dusted back there in years.

  11. April 18, 2010 6:24 am

    nice metaphor and
    thoughtful observation about relationships

    • April 18, 2010 9:42 pm

      hi! thanks for taking time out of writing this month to come by and read!

  12. April 19, 2010 9:11 am

    How can you not enjoy a poem with a Bull Durham reference? And the idea of attraction and the science behind it is a fascinating one. As is the idea of chemical causes for love and affection. Well done, Carolee.

    • April 19, 2010 12:44 pm

      i want to be annie more than any other movie character. 🙂

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