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Poem: "Entropy's Blessing" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Entropy's Blessing"

This is the first freebie for the August 2, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  aldersprig and wyld_dandelyon got into a great discussion about different types of corruption, and where corruption and redemption meet, including a reference to rot.  So that got me thinking about compost and the detritus food web, which I absolutely love as manifestations of entropy's positive aspects.  I offer you this poem as a celebration of those types of corruption which are necessary for redemption. You can also read my post on "How to Make a Compost Pile."


Entropy's Blessing


The compost heap breeds life from death,
health from infestation.
Refuse rots down into fresh clean soil:
dark, black, rich, fragrant, burgeoning with promise.
It is all that is reviled, ignored, denigrated, put down;
and yet it is pure in its own way,
holy in its harmonious destruction.

The detritus food web takes what was
and turns it into what will be.
Microherds of bacteria
teem in the warm, moist depths.
Fungi spin threads of white and gold,
binding the pile together.
Sowbugs graze on the growing things;
beetles and centipedes hunt
through tiny tunnels;
wolf spiders prowl the surface.
Earthworms eat and excrete,
drilling their way through once-living matter.
A toad burrows into the damp fluff
and devours the invertebrates.

This is entropy's blessing:
it takes what syntropy leaves behind,
restacks the deck, and offers
raw materials with a knowing smile.
It is corruption that is redemption,
two different phases
in one great cycle.

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8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: August 3rd, 2011 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Really? No Comments? O_O
Compost! I love it. :-)
(can't wait to have my own compost heap...)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 3rd, 2011 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Well...

Amusingly, "Purity" is a runaway success. I'd remark that maybe people like it more, but looking at the prompts makes me think that no, my audience has a perfectly good grasp and appreciation of corruption. Maybe folks just haven't found this post yet.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: August 3rd, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Hard to live in the world and not understand corruption, I think.

It could be. I'll boost it once I wake up.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 4th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

I don't know ... I think that seeing corruption is easy, but understanding it is harder, and rarer.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: August 4th, 2011 01:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Mm, you have a point. One thing to see it, another to grok it.

I've made a life's study of "people who don't think the way I do." Sometimes it's painful. Sometimes it's brick walls. Sometimes it's examining myself.

"Corruption" is a blanket enough term that it could be any of those.
siege From: siege Date: August 3rd, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

I'd argue we've been anesthetized, and have little means to appreciate good fuel from bad.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: August 3rd, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Would this be a good teaching poem, or do those tend to be heavier on rhyme and rhythm?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 3rd, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

It is a good teaching poem, because it describes the system in fair detail and has a positive tone. Not all didactic poetry is rhymed and metered; that just makes it easier to memorize. Mnemonic poetry is a slightly different category; most but not all of it is indeed rhymed and metered. Didactic poetry just has to teach the topic in a way that will catch people's attention, so it's got a bit more wiggle room.

This would be fun to include in a class on how to make compost. I have therefore linked it to and from my earlier post on compost creation.
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