March 11 Wallace Stevens: Metamorphosis

Presenting a poem that changes as it speaks.

When I look in the dictionary for the word “metamorphosis”, it defines the word as a magical change, or a change in a creature’s developmental stages; in pathology it is a degenerative change in the body or the tissues. Something strange is occurring in the life of a creature – it is becoming something else.

Language too changes and grows, twists and bends into unusual shapes. Who can write “tweet” now a days and not think of a phone? Who would have done that twenty years ago? When Shakespeare mentioned a bodkin, his audience knew what that was. Now most of us have to look it up. There was recently an article in the Times that mentioned that the movie “Clueless” has forever changed the meaning of the word “whatever”. The language we speak today would not have been understood by the people who spoke English 500 years ago. And a thousand years ago English didn’t even exist.

In school I learned that the difference between a living language and a dead one is that a living language, like English, for instance, changes. It grows, alters, develops and degenerates with the people who speak it, just as a body changes and grows and twists and bends. So why not a poem that metamorphosizes?

Metamorphosis

by Wallace Stevens

Yillow, yillow, yillow,
Old worm, my pretty quirk,
How the wind spells out
Sep – tem – ber….

Summer is in bones.
Cock-robin’s at Caracas.
Make o, make o, make o,
Oto – otu – bre.

And the rude leaves fall.
The rain falls. The sky
Falls and lies with worms.
The street lamps

Are those that have been hanged.
Dangling in an illogical
To and to and fro
Fro Niz – nil – imbo.

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About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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One Response to March 11 Wallace Stevens: Metamorphosis

  1. Pingback: Octobox | Splashdown

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