Poem of the Day: Bradley Paul’s “What Kind of Mythopoeic Measurement Are You?”

Bradley PaulListen: Bradley Paul’s “What Kind of Mythopoeic Measurement Are You?”

Today’s poem is called” What Kind of Mythopoeic Measurement Are You?” by Bradley Paul. I began loving Paul’s writing after encountering his book The Animals All Are Gathering [University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010]. This poem embodies the kind of sad, yet playful poetics I’ve found in his writing, and we’re glad to present it here for the InDigest Poem of the Day Podcast. You can read the full text of this poem after the jump.

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What Kind of Mythopoeic Measurement Are You?

Millihelen: the amount of beauty it takes
to launch one ship.
A beaker of crushed mussels
for the blackness of one’s eyes,
a bucket of whole mussels
for the depth of one’s laugh.
How have you been calibrated?
Are the sailors tarring the halyards and stocking the ale
or are they bored again on the beach,
plucking urchins from their feet?
“You have to grow into your looks,”
says the nitpicky aunt.
“Nobody’s born George Clooney.”
We’ve all wasted time
being ugly.
So we grab the binoculars
and keep watch from the cliff
with no idea of your measurements
until the armada rolls over the horizon
like the metal pimples that sound the notes
on a music box cylinder,
or not.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Poem Podcast Poem of the Day Podcast

InDigest's Poem of the Day Podcast is a (mostly) daily podcast featuring an audio version of a single poem. You can get the podcast on Stitcher Smart Radio or iTunes, or right here on the InDigest blog.

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