Thursday Poem

Blessed Nicholas Steno

Though noting with incredulity
their employment in the
harnessing of winds,
Pliny the Elder
in his treatise on Natural History
could state with more certainty
on the subject of Glossopetrae
that those forked stones
littering mountaintops
drop out of heaven
during lunar eclipses.

So when Ferdinando the Grand Duke of Tuscany,
a millennium later, charged his best anatomist
with the autopsy of a shark (of such magnitude
her removed liver was measured at 100 kg)
caught by two men of Livorno,
who strung her from a tree and clubbed her to death,
the following miracle did Blessed Nicholas Steno 1
unveil to Florentine crowds
via the divine, scrupulous
hand, a mouthful
of tongue‐stones
set row upon
row in
perfected
lines.

by Sean Denmark
from
Ecotheo Review
Feb. 2017

 

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