Hunterian Associate JuEunhae Knox's Instagram project looking at the interplay of text and image online continues. Today, forgotten body parts are under the microscope! #anatomy #poetry #archives #university #museum @worthathousand_hunterian
- “Don’t Go Breaking My Spleen”. “Total Eclipse of the Gall Bladder”. Do these revised song titles still have the same ring?
Read Komunyakaa’s poem “Anodyne”. Are our “squishy” parts like intestines and spleens just as worthy topics for poetry? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
“I love this body
made to weather the storm
in the brain, raised
out of the deep smell
of fish & water hyacinth,
out of rapture & the first
regret. I love my big hands.
I love it clear down to the soft
quick motor of each breath,
the liver's ten kinds of desire & the kidney's lust for sugar.
This skin, this sac of dung & joy, this spleen floating
like a compass needle inside
nighttime, always divining
West Africa's dusty horizon.”
When thinking about anatomy, we easily remember our brains, hearts, and major organs. Yet we often forget the “small, squishy parts” like the kidneys, which not only filter waste products, but control blood pressure and make hormones for red blood cell production. Or the tiny thyroid (under the Adam’s apple) that regulates breathing, heart rate, muscle strength, temperature, nervous systems, and more! In the comments, discuss why we should or shouldn’t write poetry or draw sketches of THESE parts of anatomy.
Excerpt of “Anodyne” from Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems © 2001 by Yusef Komunyakaa. Reprinted by permission of Weleyan University Press.
Image used with permission of the Archives and Special Collections of the University of Glasgow. MS Hunter 653 tab. 4