Friday, June 17, 2022

Poetry Friday: I Remember Galileo

I love Gerald Stern's description of the mind in this poem. Is the mind more like a piece of paper or a squirrel? You decide. 

I Remember Galileo

by Gerald Stern

I remember Galileo describing the mind

as a piece of paper blown around by the wind

and I loved the sight of it sticking to a tree

or jumping into the back seat of a car,

and for years I watched paper leap through my cities;

but yesterday I saw the mind was a squirrel caught crossing

route 80 between the wheels of a giant truck,

dancing back and forth like a thin leaf,

or a frightened string,


Here's the rest.


And here's today's roundup. 


Susan T. said...

"For this life I need a squirrel" is a wonderful line. Thank you for posting this poem; I didn't know it.

Tabatha said...

I'm going to have to think about that! I don't feel like my mind is like paper or a squirrel -- I guess I need my own metaphor :) Love the poem, though.

Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, I am sorry that I have not visited your blog lately. There is always something that interrupts life lately. Challenges abound and time flies by but now I am finally over most of the post-effects of cataract surgery. The last of the drops stop next week and perhaps I will feel free again. As for your poem, it is very interesting and took several readings to settle my thoughts. At this point in time, I want to settle and not race around like a paper scurrying everywhere. I also want the fear of rushing across a highway like a squirrel to subside. Fear is deadly for me. Perhaps, I am moving far away from the intent of the author but this is what the mind went too while reading.

Mary Lee said...

If I had to pick, my mind would be paper all the way! But I'm like Tabatha...I think there's a better metaphor for my mind than either one. Sometimes a caterpillar on fennel or milkweed (chomp, chomp, chomp), sometimes the butterfly (flit, flit, flit)!

Karen Eastlund said...

Love this poem. I want paper, but I need squirrel. And if I could choose something else altogether, I'd choose a clear blue lake with loons.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing me to Gerald Stern and this poem. Perhaps as Tabatha and Mary Lee suggest another metaphor awaits each of us for our mind-well…
Michelle K

Linda B said...

Fascinating to ponder which, and like others, if at all. I think most of the time, I sail from place to place like that paper, up and ready, but less directive than the squirrel probably is. What an interesting poem, Ruth.

Patricia Franz said...

Hmm... I will want to think more about this paper. But I will certainly recall it whenever I am driving now!

Linda Mitchell said...

I can't explain why I like this others have pointed out...a piece of paper as metaphor for my mind? But, that squirrel...running and showing up in other lines...that might be the metaphor from me.