Thursday, June 26, 2008

Naming the Animals

I love The Writer's Almanac on radio and on line ( Each edition always carries a poem.

This one today was fun:

Naming the Animals

by Anthony Hecht

Having commanded Adam to bestow

Names upon all creatures, God withdrew

To empyrean palaces of blue

That warm and windless morning long ago,

And seemed to take no notice of the vexed

Look on the young man's face as he took thought

Of all the miracles the Lord had wrought

Now to be labeled, dubbed, yclept, indexed.

Before an addled mind and puddle brow,

The feathered nation and the finny prey

Passed by; there went biped and quadruped.

Adam looked forth with bottomless dismay

Into the tragic eyes of his first cow,

And shyly ventured, "Thou shalt be called 'Fred.'"

From Collected Later Poems, 2003

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