Post more comments
Want a gift card for being active Forum member? Post comments and win $25 gift card every week.
Rules:
PoemHunter.com will be giving away Amazon.com gift cards (worth $75 in total) every week to first three members ($25 each) who participate most in our forum discussions. You just have to post comments on forum pages, poet pages or poem pages anywhere inside PoemHunter.com
Comments posted needs to be in different pages. Posting more than 1 comment on the same page will only be counted once.
Members can not post comments without being logged in.
PoemHunter.com has the right to cancel or edit this contest.
PoemHunter.com has a right to disqualify or ban member(s) without providing any type of reason, belief or proof in regards to any type of illegal activity or fraud.

Heather McHugh

(20 August 1948 / San Diego, California)

Ghoti


The gh comes from rough, the o from women's,
and the ti from unmentionables--presto:
there's the perfect English instance of
unlovablility--complete

with fish. Our wish was for a better
revelation: for a correspondence--
if not lexical, at least
phonetic; if not with Madonna

then at least with Mary Magdalene.
Instead we get the sheer
opacity of things: an accident
of incident, a tracery of history: the dung

inside the dungarees, the jock strap for a codpiece, and
the ruined patches bordering the lip. One boot (high-heeled) could make
Sorrento sorry, Capri corny, even little Italy
a little ill. Low-cased, a lover looks

one over--eggs without ease, semen without oars--
and there, on board, tricked out in fur and fin,
the landlubber who wound up captain. Where's it going,
this our (H)MS? More west? More forth? The quest

itself is at a long and short behest: it's wound
in winds. (Take rough from seas, and women from the shore,
unmentionables out of mind). We're here
for something rich, beyond

appearances. What do I mean? (What can one say?)
A minute of millenium, unculminating
stint, a stonishment: my god, what's
utterable? Gargah, gatto, goat. Us animals is made

to seine and trawl and drag and gaff
our way across the earth. The earth, it rolls.
We dig, lay lines, book arguably
perfect passages. But earth remains untranslated,

unplumbed. A million herring run where we
catch here a freckle, there a pock; the depths to which things live
words only glint at. Terns in flight work up
what fond minds might

call syntax. As for that
semantic antic in the distance, is it
whiskered fish, finned cat? Don't settle
just for two. Some bottomographies are

brooded over, and some skies swum through. . .

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Related Poems


Read poems about / on: fish, women, history, cat, sorry, work, god, swimming, wind, woman, animal, fishing, running, sky

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Ghoti by Heather McHugh )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. An Old Bench, David Harris
  2. Gifted Young-to Know of Death. But Not W.., A.j. Binash
  3. Hard words from an open page..., PARTHA SARATHI PAUL
  4. Who Put On The News?, John Garth Raubenheimer
  5. In servitude and sea, Elijah o.b Zoff
  6. mermaid, laxami Cards
  7. If, dhia abada
  8. PRAYER OF SALVATION, Colin Ian Jeffery
  9. Sweet Child, Galina Sherkov
  10. Hurt, Galina Sherkov

Poem of the Day

poet George Gordon Byron

I Speak Not, I Trace...
by George Gordon Byron

I speak not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name;
There is grief in the sound, there is guilt in the fame;
But the tear that now burns on my cheek may impart
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]