Friday, January 28, 2011

[BONUS] Skull Poetry

I'd like to take a moment to introduce something a bit different than our usual world of visual skull creativity here on Skull-A-Day. Poet Kim Roberts just shared this piece with me and gave me permission to pass it along to you. It appears in her Pearl Poetry Prize winning book Animal Magnetism...

THE SKULL OF JOHANN GASPAR SPURZHEIM (1776-1832)
The Warren Anatomical Museum, Harvard University, Boston

Spurzheim’s skull
                       is sliced through the brow,
           completely around,

a perfect cap, then bisected
                       down the middle.
           If you put hinges on either side,

above where he once had ears,
                       you could open him up
           like a treasure box.

Spurzheim made a study of brains,
                       an atlas of 36 “organs”
           (Amativeness, Veneration, Marvellousness)

which controlled morality and intellect.
                       His brain, one of the heaviest
           ever recorded,

would have been a source of pride
                       if he only had known.
           He got so much wrong.

Tell me: is a life wrestling
                       with a single misguided theory
           a wasted life?

The brain is indeed
                       a treasure box:
           a little space here for perception,

an area there for volition,
                       a communications center,
           a music box

with gears and flywheels,
                       a pirouetting ballerina.
           The skull is a beautiful receptacle

and Spurzheim’s skull,
                       held upright
           on a pronged stand,

shelved behind a plate of glass,
                       a slice of history,
           glows.



Folks in the DC area can actually meet Kim at her book release party
on Sunday, February 20 @ 4:00 pm
14th & V Streets NW, Historic U Street neighborhood
202.387.POET
Free, but donations accepted.

For more of Kim's work visit her site HERE.

1 comment:

The Frog Queen said...

Enjoyed that poem very much. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers!