Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Poetry 15: Amy Lemmon

I don't know anything about Amy Lemmon. I discovered her because my teacher tossed me a book and said, "Here, you'll like this." And I do. (If you'd like to check it out, you can buy it here.)

This poem was nominated for a Pushcart prize. I feel like I'm OK printing it all because it appears here. And you can read Amy's blog here. I hope you're able to appreciate how cool the format is for this particular subject. (Sorry, I didn't need to point out the obvious to YOU astute readers, right?)

As most of you know, I have a dear friend who went through this experience herself. Needless to say, this poem, and several others in the book, speak especially well to her.

I apologize for the periods. I spent 45 minutes trying to figure out how to keep columns, or tabs, or even a table in a blogger document and nothing worked. (Anyone want to teach me?) So I've used periods to keep her spacing right. Ignore them. The real poem appears in three neat columns.

Karyotype
by Amy Lemmon

What would ...........it look like,
I wondered, ..........this map
of gene particles ....counted
and crossed? .........As we waited,
I imagined ...........a tidy grid
of lines .............and numbers,
stark spirals ........in red-green-blue,
anything but .........these tiny worms
photographed, ........magnified and ordered
in pairs except ......for the infamous
twenty-first: ........the error,
the glitch, ..........the wrench
in your infant .......clockwork. Striped
and annelidic, .......the chromosomes
weren’t even .........yours, just
a picture ............of someone
else’s, someone ......else’s child
who also had .........too much,
too many worms. ......picture
the other parents ....seeing these
squirming ..............for the first time ....squinting hard
like we do now. ......You’re here.
What do we ...........make of it?

.

7 comments:

Clark Draney said...

When you say your friend went through this experience, do you mean that she has a Downs child?

Did you know that we have a daughter with Down Syndrome? Her name is Caitlin.

Thank you for sharing this poem. I love what you are doing for poetry month! Would you consider letting me share some of your poetry with my classes?

Darlene said...

Yeah, Clark. My friend edited one book about children with DS and has written a memoir about her life as a mother of a child with DS. Her website is http://kathrynlynardsoper.com/

And of course you can share my poetry with your class.

Clark Draney said...

Finally making my way back to the blogs after grading papers, etc.

Thanks, Darlene, for permission to use some of your work. More on that next semester, I think.

Amy said...

Hi Eunice,
I'm really glad you like my poems! I'm interested to hear who the teacher is who threw the book at you :) Thanks for posting about my work on your blog. Since you're posting a poem from it here, I would really appreciate it if you could post a link to my blog http://saintnobody.com, and to my book on Amazon (link below). Thanks!
Amy
http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Nobody-Amy-Lemmon/dp/1597091421/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241469500&sr=8-1

Amy said...

Oops, sorry--I mean Darlene!

Darlene said...

Sure, Amy. Thanks for being gracious. Sorry for the slaughter of the spacing on your poem.

Amy said...

No prob, Darlene-slash-Eunice! You can imagine the fun designers had with the formatting when it was laid out in various publications...I appreciate your efforts.