My Latest New Favorite Poet: Peggy Shumaker – National Poetry Month Post #2

My latest new favorite poet is Peggy Shumaker (from American Life in Poetry: Column 471). This also happens to be number TWO of my National Poetry Month “30 in 30” campaign (I would say “challenge” but campaign sounds much more esoteric and cutting-edge, thus getting me out of the PRESSURE of an actual “challenge” haHA!).

There are many of us afraid of bats, whether it be because there are some that feed on blood, the folklore surrounding them (vampires in general have given them a bad rep), or the fact that some have been on the receiving end of getting a wayward bat caught in one’s hair (they ARE, mostly, BLIND after all). But after reading the poem below, with its fanciful, reverent lines like “so those of us / stuck here on earth / know—you must be gods.” you might change your mind. Ms. Shumaker’s language in this piece is so perfect, it made me look at them in a way such that I wanted to learn more about them (I did learn that Bats are “the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight”. Cool, huh!?). Read on!

Spirit of the Bat


Hair rush, low swoop—
so those of us

stuck here on earth
know—you must be gods.

Or friends of gods,
granted chances

to push off into sky,
granted chances

to hear so well
your own voice bounced

back to you
maps the night.

Each hinge
in your wing’s

an act of creation.
Each insect

you snick out of air
a witness.

You transform
obstacles

into sounds,
then dodge them.

In this single poem, she takes a creature that has bad connotations and turns it into something of wonder, to be awed and envied.

The full article can be found by clicking here.

And here’s some more info on our friends (or foes? If you feel that way; no judgment here at ARRTI), from the Order “Chiroptera” should you be so inclined to learn more about them, and possibly become less (or more? Again, not judging 😉 ) afraid of them (just click the link):

Bats
Vampire Bat
Fruit Bat (Or Megabat)

From The London Natural History Museum: The Secret Life of Bats

My personal favorite (which I didn’t find out about until recently) and cutest (IMHO): the “Flying Fox”! Giant golden-crowned flying fox

Enjoy! 😀

Jamy

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