Poetry Friday: Metamorphosis

How often do we go down rabbit holes in search of one thing, only to come out on the other side with something else altogether? Maybe not as often as we should.

This week I’m reading Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s captivating book, Mozart’s Starling. (Little, Brown, 2017). At one point, she quotes French poet Paul Éluard: “There is another world, but it is in this one.” This idea launches Haupt into a rumination on wonder. Did you know the root of “wonder” is an Old English word, wundrian that means “to be affected by one’s own astonishment”? Isn’t that lovely? Haupt ends this brief passage with this: “For us, the song of the world so often rises in places we had not thought to look.” These are the words of a poet.

Curious about her, I discovered that Haupt “is a naturalist, eco-philosopher, and speaker whose writing is at the forefront of the movement to connect people with nature in their everyday lives.”

But no poetry.

Back to Paul Éluard. The Poetry Foundation has two of Éluard’s poems, but neither of them really appealed to me. What did catch me eye was the poem of the day by Linda Pastan. Pastan is a favorite, so I clicked on the link to find this:

“At the Air and Space Museum”
by Linda Pastan

When I was
nearly six my

opened his magic

doctor bag:

tongue depressors fastened by
a rubber

one flick

Read the rest here.

Even before I finished reading, I could feel my own poem taking shape. The ideas in this poem had been floating around my brain for the last month or so, but hadn’t settled on a form.


When I was
nearly ten

I taught myself
to embroider:

clutched a needle threaded
with magenta yarn

looped chains of stitches
tentative and uneven

until a form emerged:
butterfly wings.

© Catherine Flynn, 2017

Thank you for following me down the rabbit hole! Please be sure to visit my friend and critique group partner, Linda Mitchell, at A Word Edgewise for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

15 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Metamorphosis

  1. Beautiful adventure down that ‘rabbit hole’, Catherine. I do love Pastan’s poem, but yours touches me too, that simple memory of learning “how to do” is special.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate so much to this post. Those rabbit holes have invited me in all summer long. I will miss them. This one brought you to a wonderful poem. I like it more than Pastan’s but maybe because I just love you and this poem is a part of you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, my gosh,……..I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Linda Pastan. I really think she lured me into poetry as much as any other writer. Thank you for sharing her today! I have taken this line from your post as a future prompt: to be affected by one’s own astonishment”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the glimpses of how you go about writing a Poetry Friday post – it’s so similar to my own meandering process! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, Catherine! I loved the Linda Pastan poem when I read it earlier this week and I love how it inspired your own wonderful poem. Thanks for sharing your rich trip down the rabbit hole!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Boy, do I ever love these quotes about wonder and word roots and seeing and traveling the rabbit holes in our lives! Fantastic! I’m about to do a speaking engagement. I feel like I will have to work this stuff in. Thanks for sharing your poem as well. So happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Linda Pastan was one of my first favorite poets. I embroidered (and cross stitched) my way through my early teens. I love rabbit holes, but I love wonder (“to be affected by one’s own astonishment”) even more.

    Liked by 1 person

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