The Pongid Hominid Ancestor

Hominus, deus...
The pongid-hominid ancestors'
Offspring in hills of
Olive and juniper walked,
Where the trees dried.
All hands and
That tree jumping crouch,
That would soon want a chair
Under it instead of a bough,
To relieve the walking.
Hung in sunbeams.
Cut by the edge of leaves,
"We" were fresh for physics,
Whose calculations in blood and light,
Rode on elemental forces,
Pinning high flung leaps to branches,
To branch, to branch, to branch,
Teaching rhythm and poetry,
A segmented world, acrobatics,
And music, variation and analogy,
Their bodies the apple,
In death, light,and spirit,
As Pythagoras would plunge
For the logic,
His mind was out
Like a flower,
In seminal spill;
He could say what was.
"Freehands", when the forest was gone,
In the Province of Teeth,
Extended hands
To reproduce what they knew from the trees
Far inside the mind,
In the matter abundance,
Rivers and logic,
From an education of trees.
And surprises of freedom
Still sound in cracked seamed crania,
Of gourds and vines by the horizon,
And the presents brought by time.

by Monica Collette Yriart

Comments (4)

The poet asks if it is fear of making someone a widow that causes the young man to refuse to marry. The argument is unsound, says the poet, for a beautiful youth must leave behind him a form or copy of himself, otherwise the world itself will endure widowhood, and yet have no consolation for its loss. For it will not be able to view the young man resurrected in the eyes of his children. If he persists in this single obduracy, it is an unforgivable shame, showing lack of love to others and equivalent to murdering himself and all his heirs.
1. Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye, To wet a widow's eye = to cause your future wife to weep for you (if you should die after marrying her) . 2. That thou consum'st thy self in single life? That you waste away in bachelorhood. There is also a sexual meaning in consum'st. See notes to 3.7-8; 4.9 etc.
3. Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die, issueless = childless, without issue, without children. shalt hap to = should happen to. 4. The world will wail thee like a makeless wife; The world will wail thee = the world will mourn for you; like = as if it (the world) were; as if you, (the youth) were; the latter meaning is obviously not so relevant, but the youth, being unmarried, could be perceived as being in the same state as a widow. a makeless wife = a wife without a mate, one who has been widowed. make = companion or mate, spouse (obs.) . The argument therefore is that, if the man does not marry, although he will not leave a widow behind him in the conventional sense, should he die, yet the world will be his widow instead, an even greater tragedy than if he were in fact married and with children. The world will mourn him as a makeless wife mourns her husband. The idea is expanded in the following lines.
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