Monday, December 11, 2017

Kiss Me, Pretty Protoplasm

Well, that was a first. I’ve spent many hours off and on memorizing poems, but never in my dreams. Last night, I had an extended dream in which I was re-learning a poem I had once memorized and by the time I woke up, I had it. How strange is that?

More interesting is “Why that poem? Why now? Oh, Dr. Freud or Dr. Jung, what does it all mean?”

The poem was one my Dad liked to recite whenever an occasion called for it—and often when the occasion didn’t call for it! It’s from a novel called Finley Wren by Philip Wylie and is a delightful scientific meditation on love, good eating habits, the activities of living cells and mortality. There are at least ten $50 words that need time and a dictionary. Hence, a good way to impress friends and acquaintances as to your high IQ. (Although these days, intelligence seems to be a cause for apology and something to hide. Using a three-syllable word could get you in trouble with Homeland Security.)

Perhaps the dream was simply a message to me to post the poem because some reader out there needs it at this moment. It could be you. Enjoy.

Life is just a passing spasm
In an aggregate of cells;
Kiss me, pretty protoplasm,
While your osculation dwells.

Glucose-sweet, no enzyme action
Or love-lytic can reduce
Our relations to a fraction
Of hereditary use.

Nuclear rejuvenation
Melts the auricle of stoic:
Love requires a balanced ration—
Let our food be holozoic;

Let us live with all our senses
While anabolism lets us—
Till—with metaplastic fences
Some katabolism gets us.

Till, potential strength, retreating,
Leaves us at extinction’s chasm:
And, since time is rather fleeting,
Kiss me, pretty protoplasm.

1 comment:

  1. This poem has been stuck in my head for more than 50 years. (I'm 85). Dont know why I never forgot it. Thought it was embedded in Whylies novel Tomorrow in


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