2013 Poetry Month #8 – Cartoon Physics, Part 1
The poem “Cartoon Physics, Part 1” is written by Nick Flynn and published in his book Some Ether (2000, by Graywolf Press).
Cartoon Physics, Part 1
Children under, say, ten, shouldn’t know
that the universe is ever-expanding,
inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies
swallowed by galaxies, whole
solar systems collapsing, all of it
acted out in silence. At ten we are still learning
the rules of cartoon animation,
that if a man draws a door on a rock
only he can pass through it.
Anyone else who tries
will crash into the rock. Ten-year-olds
should stick with burning houses, car wrecks,
ships going down — earthbound, tangible
where they can be heroes. You can run
back into a burning house, sinking ships
have lifeboats, the trucks will come
with their ladders, if you jump
you will be saved. A child
places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus,
& drives across a city of sand. She knows
the exact spot it will skid, at which point
the bridge will give, who will swim to safety
& who will be pulled under by sharks. She will learn
that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff
he will not fall
until he notices his mistake.
3 thoughts on “2013 Poetry Month #8 – Cartoon Physics, Part 1”
It is a great poem in that everyone can relate to this in some way. I will post the second part, from the same collection, this weekend.