Sunday, December 28, 2008
At the Poem Museum
The other day, I went to the poem museum. There were poems of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Some were made of words and others were physical objects, or word-extensions that very closely resembled physical objects — I couldn’t always tell.
One that I really liked was a small piece of wood that had been carved into the shape of a poem. The sign beneath it said, “Poems of this type were often used in ancient rituals.” I tried hard to imagine a ritual that would require the use of a wooden poem. Had I been able to touch it and hold it in my hands, I might have had better luck. But at the bottom of the sign it said, “Do not touch.”
In the next room, I saw a clay figure of a man sitting beside a fire under the stars. I couldn’t see the fire or the stars, but I knew they were there because of the way the man was sitting. I thought it was a very nice poem indeed.
Awhile later, I overheard two people talking about language. “That doesn’t prove anything,” one of them said. They were standing in front of a very large, beautifully wrought word-poem, arguing. After they had moved on, a custodian quietly swept their argument into his dustpan.
For a brief time, a poem that looked exactly like a fly buzzed around me.
Another display was called “Common Poems for the Common Man.” It was a real live family sitting around a table, eating soup and bread. But I must have gotten a little too close, because their dog bit me. Very effective.
“At the Poem Museum” added to Poems, Slightly Used.