Thursday, September 26, 2019

Emotional Elements

I have presented the periodic table as a kind of travel guide to an imaginary country, of which the elements are the various regions.
~Peter William Atkins

Monument to the periodic table in Bratislava, Slovakia

Happy Poetry Friday! Today I'm sharing Melancholia by Eric Pankey. I think it makes a good mentor poem, so I am sharing my own "Emotional Element" afterward.

by Eric Pankey

On the periodic table, it is the densest of elements. It does not refract or reflect, but absorbs all light. On the tongue, it has no taste at all, although one recalls a bitter, acrid tinge. All day the rain falls in its room. All night the rain. Mold blackens the walls.

Read the rest here


by Tabatha Yeatts

On the periodic table, it is the most delicate of elements. Each moment, it generates a new stratum, layers upon layers, until -- sturdy -- it can hold other elements. Oxygen breathes it. Helium rises here. The room is full of the table, a mountain of table. The color of honey in the comb. Light held still. Its odor suggests a forest, and marshmallows held over a fire. The flickers crackle for long sticks and patience. Here the crystalline delicacy ripens, the same every time.


Beyond LiteracyLink has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!


Irene Latham said...

The color of honey in the comb. I love this, Tabatha! And I do believe there's a Periodic Table of Poetry book coming into the world from Candlewick. :) xo

Carol Varsalona said...

Your poem is a wonderful outgrowth of the former poem, Tabatha. Oxygen breathes it (trust) is the line that resonates with me. I think finding a poem about the periodic table and writing about it is a unique move. Now, Irene mentions that there will be a poetry book coming out. How fascinating.

Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, Tabatha! The details in Trust are rich! The lightness that oxygen breathes...the scent of forest. Can't wait to see a periodic table of poetry. Candlewick is one of my favs for great work. But, I'm sad that the idea of it is taken. Your table...based on the sample of 'Trust' would be stunning. I think you should write it anyway!

Jone said...

Light held still...flickers crackle....all so rich. Thank you for this.

Michelle Kogan said...

Gorgeous take on the "Melancholia" poem Tabatha. "Light held still" and "long sticks of patience," all true of trust and worthy of the wait, thanks !

Margaret Simon said...

As others have said, your prose poem is stunning, so full of the senses.

Linda B said...

The idea of it creates a list that holds so many ideas. "absorbs all light" makes the word real. And your response to 'trust' is wonderful, Tabatha, that "flickers crackle for long sticks and patience" offers a wide world for us to cling to. It is beautiful!

jama said...

"Trust" is beautiful, Tabatha! Especially love "light held still." :)

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Oh, please write a book, Tabatha! "Here the crystalline delicacy ripens..."

Our emotional literacy is faltering--not our emotions; they rise like the sea level--but our ability to talk about them to one another. Give us a periodic table for understanding our complex shades and alloys of feeling.

Maybe I should help...

Cheriee Weichel said...

Oh wow Tabatha! Both of these poems gobsmacked me, but the first two lines of yours, "On the periodic table, it is the most delicate of elements. Each moment, it generates a new stratum, layers upon layers, until -- sturdy -- it can hold other elements." resonate profoundly with me.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

A brilliant take on that most delicate of elements, T. I should trust that you would know that element well—it seems well stocked in your personal periodic table.