Read a poem, talk about it, read it again.

Episode 164 Elegy - Aracelis Girmay


Connor and Jack explore Aracelis Girmay's poem "Elegy" from her 2011 collection Kingdom Animalia. They talk through the opening line's call to community and the ways it resonates with Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese," they get scientific while discussing the nature imagery in the poem, and they delve into the poem's pandemic-era relevance.

By: Aracelis Girmay

What to do with this knowledge that our living is not guaranteed?

Perhaps one day you touch the young branch
of something beautiful. & it grows & grows
despite your birthdays & the death certificate,
& it one day shades the heads of something beautiful
or makes itself useful to the nest. Walk out
of your house, then, believing in this.
Nothing else matters.

All above us is the touching
of strangers & parrots,
some of them human,
some of them not human.

Listen to me. I am telling you
a true thing. This is the only kingdom.
The kingdom of touching;
the touches of the disappearing, things.
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