A Little Language
I know a little language of my cat, though Dante says
that animals have no need of speech and Nature
abhors the superfluous. My cat is fluent. He
converses when he wants with me. To speak
is natural. And whales and wolves I’ve heard
in choral soundings of the sea and air
know harmony and have an eloquence that stirs
my mind and heart—they touch the soul. Here
Dante’s religion that would set Man apart
damns the effluence of our life from us
to build therein its powerhouse.
It’s in his animal communication Man is
true, immediate, and
in immediacy, Man is all animal.
His senses quicken in the thick of the symphony,
old circuits of animal rapture and alarm,
attentions and arousals in which an identity rearrives.
particular voices among
the concert, the slightest
rustle in the undertones,
rehearsing a nervous aptitude
yet to prove his. He sees the flick
of significant red within the rushing mass
of ruddy wilderness and catches the glow
of a green shirt
to delite him in a glowing field of green
—it speaks to him—
and in the arc of the spectrum color
speaks to color.
The rainbow articulates
a promise he remembers
he but imitates
in noises that he makes,
this speech in every sense
the world surrounding him.
He picks up on the fugitive tang of mace
amidst the savory mass,
and taste in evolution is an everlasting key.
There is a pun of scents in what makes sense.
Myrrh it may have been,
the odor of the announcement that filld the house.
He wakes from deepest sleep
upon a distant signal and waits
as if crouching, springs to life.
Robert Duncan's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Little Language by Robert Duncan )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Inspiration, Henry David Thoreau
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- Alone, Maya Angelou
Poem of the Day
- The King, Michael P. McParland
- Envisage Belongings, Ajala Samuel Akindele
- Die of Thousands Deaths, Norman Jin Shyr Wang
- Provocation! ! !, george albot
- Born as human, hasmukh amathalal
- New Years Heart, Ron Baratono
- It Is Called Time, Naveed Akram
- Ethical living., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- Dolce Vita, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
- Aapko Dekh Kavita Likhne Ki Eccha Hoti H.., Bijay Kant Dubey