personal favorites / poetry collections… The Speed of Darkness by Muriel Rukeyser / poems, video, & audio

Muriel Rukeyser

The Speed of Darkness

 
 
 
“The Conjugation of the Paramecium”

This has nothing
to do with
propagating

The species
is continued
as so many are
(among the smaller creatures)
by fission

(and this species
is very small
next in order to
the amoeba, the beginning one)

The paramecium
achieves, then,
immortality
by dividing

But when
the paramecium
desires renewal
strength another joy
this is what
the paramecium does:

The paramecium
lies down beside
another paramecium

Slowly inexplicably
the exchange
takes place
in which
some bits
of the nucleus of each
are exchanged

for some bits
of the nucleus
of the other

This is called
the conjugation of the paramecium.

 
~
 
Rukeyser reads “In Our Time”:

 
In our period, they say there is free speech.
They say there is no penalty for poets,
There is no penalty for writing poems.
They say this.        This is the penalty.

 
~
 
An audio file of Rukeyser reading her poem “The Speed of Darkness”.

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~ by samofthetenthousandthings on May 19, 2012.

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