4 0 4

When you wish...


      First Star


                 Vital cell coded with the genes of all that is,

                 Microcosm, model, spark of the universe,

                 She radiates extravagant solicitude for her children.

                 Bright with the wisdom of all time,

                 She is the mould for life's candles,

                 The flame of life's light.

                 She is the center of the world,

                 The source of integrity,

                 The mother of morning.

                 Somewhere, millions of years from now,

                 Someone is making a wish upon her.


                                                                     Chris Brockman


General Impression: Wow! was my first reaction to this piece.  It's beautifully constructed (way more elegant than my own free verse), and drawing a parallel between the first cell to appear (presumably on earth) and a distant star is a stunning message, to say the least.  Best of all, this poem really makes me think.

Originality: This is wonderfully original.  Even I, as a biologist, had to ponder the consequences of the fact that we may all have arisen from a single cell that assembled itself in the primordial soup. You seem to be comparing the first cell to Sofia, the feminine divinity who is one of the oldest goddesses and worshiped in widely different cultures.  I find this idea intriguing, as Sophia means "wisdom, and first cell undoubtedly had a fair amount of information stored in its RNA or DNA.

Flow: I noticed how beautiful the rhythm is here, but I don't know how to describe it, as this is free verse that somehow draws the reader on, step by step. Is there a certain structure you used?  

The last two lines at first sound as if they are from another poem, but I think this is exactly what you intended-- to shock your reader into paying careful attention.

Imagery: The more I read this, the better I like the imagery. You progress from the DNA (or RNA) in a single cell to wisdom inherent in natural selection (particularly kin selection) to biodiversity and out to the rest of the (largely?) uninhabited universe.

Message: This, in my opinion the strongest element of this excellent poem.  The last two lines caused quite a bit of pondering. I read them as saying that life on earth eventually becomes extinct or is forced to and/or migrate to another planet, from which someone or some thing mourns for life as it used to be here.

Well, you probably know what's coming next: Would you care to share this on my Tumblr blog?  I'd be most honored if you did.