Monday, February 28, 2011

Continental Drift

Continental Drift

Destruction is also a method of learning.
We break things apart to see how they are made.

Hand the little boy an object. Watch him
smash it into ground, bring it down fast, a comet

plummeting. Watch the girl stacking blocks,
how she shrieks, delighted, when the pillar teeters,

encourages the collapse with a swatting palm.
Every shattered thing presents us with an opportunity:

to know that matter holds tight to itself only
if we want it to. That gravity will do its job whenever

we ask, anywhere on dry land. Pottery shards,
bones released of their organization, continental drift:

our falling and scattering sends our voices
spiraling into the far future, civilizational tea leaves.

10 comments

  1. This poem goes into my file of "Poems for my patients". I adore this poem. And i love this line:"Every shattered thing presents us with an opportunity:
    to know that matter holds tight to itself only
    if we want it to. "

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  2. I agree with the first comment. I love that line. It makes me think of each "shattered thing" in my own life and how it has presented me with an opportunity to grow as a person. Your poems always make me think on a deeper level, and I love that. Wonderful work.

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  3. I have to echo the others in choice of favorite lines. I also think the opening line is excellent.

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  4. We need this poem now: the Earth is ill, and we need to hold things tight, nurse them, because we want to. Like those Coastal Poems during the oil spills, your powerful poem reminds us of our stewardship and awesome responsibilities to this planet. I marvel at your poetic precision. Thank you for your poetry.Bravo, Hannah.

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  5. that first line makes me think of Spilt Milk... how failure teaches us so much.

    thea.
    xx

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  6. Hannah, this is a really good one. I especially like the image of the bones released of their organization, and the continental drift. Also, with a family of engineers, I'm familiar with breaking things apart to see how they're made. Bravo!

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  7. Oh, I love this one. The whole thing...you are amazing.

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  8. This reads like a commentary on Bakunin's famous line: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."

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  9. Hi Hannah,
    I love this poem, and the structure and the sound of it.

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  10. I really enjoyed this one, so much in it. Some of my fave bits:

    "Every shattered thing presents us with an opportunity:

    to know that matter holds tight to itself only
    if we want it to. That gravity will do its job whenever

    we ask, anywhere on dry land."

    Just broke one of my fave mugs the other day, I didn't even cry, but looked at it, fallen in pieces...and learned.

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