Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Oxrows"

This poem came out of the November 3, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. It was prompted and sponsored by janetmiles.


Oxrows



In the early days
when literacy was still learning itself
the lines were written back and forth:
boustrophedon, “as the ox plows.”

Only in later years
did we learn to unhitch the ox
from the hand, and even then,
some word-farmers went
from left to right
while others went right to left.

All that remains
is a handful of fragments
from before we stopped
plowing our way across a page –
old manuscripts, stone walls,
and the Rongorongo tablets.

Now our eyes
skim across the lines
and then flit back to the margin
to begin again

but we still
keep one eye on the furrow
and the other eye on the horizon.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, history, linguistics, poem, poetry, reading, writing
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