I was introduced just this year to Gerald Durrell’s writings. I had never heard of him until my dear friend, Lizzi, sent me a trilogy of his books for my birthday. I was hooked. To be forthcoming, I still have not read books 2 or 3 of the set but the 1st one was so amazing I googled Durrell and discovered the television series and immediately had to binge watch it. The third season has already started and I’ve missed most of it but that’s alright. I’ll catch up when I have more free time, or order the series on blu-ray.
Anyway, I bring this up because he is the example for today’s prompt, which you can see comes almost straight from the title of his book, My Family and Other Animals. Durrell’s writing is amazing. It’s rich in imagery, and so sumptuous I felt as if I were at a feast, luscious and succulent with all the good things you can imagine. He uses personification and anthropomorphism profusely to describe his family and correlates them to the animals he discovers in his exploration of Corfu. It was so exquisite that I after I had read only a few chapters I sat down and wrote a poem about going on holiday to Corfu. It’s a lovely book and one I highly suggest adding to your reading list.
Back to today’s prompt. We are to use Durrell’s technique and write a poem about something human. There was a list of forms we could use, including free verse (or open form). I did the exact opposite. I used zoomorphism (not exactly the correct definition but the only one that exists for reverse anthropomorphism) to write about human objects and give them animal qualities, and, truthfully, the poem is one I wrote over the summer during one of my writing sessions with one of my accountability partners. But I feel it fits in with this prompt so well that I had to use it. Today, I’m not going to post a picture with this post because I want to see if you can figure out what it is I’m describing. And I’ll give you a clue:
Imagine you live centuries in the future and are walking through a museum and you come across this particular fossil and this poem is the description for it. Also, in this future water is not used for pleasure but is strictly conserved so that sea life is protected. What fossils do you think the future would see? Also, there’s a little nod to Jurassic Park at the end. 😉
Happy poeming, everyone!
By Jesi Scott
They lie in sand,
Beached whales unable to get back to water,
Left rotting in sun and wind;
Wooden bones scoured smooth,
Evaporated skin cracked and peeling,
Turning to dust when waving grasses
Lean in to kiss goodbye.
Inside the skeleton,
Organs left to disintegrate
But time and tide,
And the oddity of nature,
Left some preserved in petrified state,
Some left residing in hollows or under ribs,
Nautical relics left as attestation
Of when humans ruled the earth.