Saturday, April 12, 2014

Somewhere in the City

When this poet was young

and first heard the expression
"Shining city on a hill"

(probably on some
news show that didn't
seem important at the time)

used to describe
the United States

(both as an ideal
and as an already-achieved "state")

her very mature reaction was
"Why are they calling
a country a city?"

This writer then
had a basic grasp
of metaphor and
figures of speech

but the nominal inaccuracy
was grating.

Names of things
places and people are indicative
of changing biases

maybe preference
for scientific classification
or poetic beauty

or because all the others
were taken.

Sometimes the act of naming
helps expand our consciousness.
Sometimes it limits.

Sometimes it matters
what category or subdivision
of Earth you live on.

Sometimes we're all
in this (or on this)

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.