I pity the flies –
Whilst they can see thousands of
Images of everything with their compound eyes –
Not one can see a complete image of thee –
Not one is capable of beholding thy beauty
In its entirety
07.01.95 – 07.13.95
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.
Notes to this poem…
The idea for this poem came from some documentary I had seen some time in my life mentioning how a fly’s compound eyes pieces together a picture, like a puzzle with each piece from an eye although not as cleanly since there is overlap and often poor resolution, when I thought of this poem. I thought of how annoying it would be to have eyes like that, jagged and broken like described to me as to how a fly (or other insects and crustaceans with compound eyes) might see them. It didn’t take long for the images flipping through my head to come to that of some beautiful girl I knew at the time, to see her in overlapping pieces, if clearly at all, though I didn’t pay much attention to the resolution factor. I just thought about the jagged, broken puzzle assembly of such a picture of her compared to the clear single image I had of her, and voilà, there was my poem! The rest was just assembling words to describe it all.
Unfortunately, I do not recall the girl I was thinking of which generated the idea for the poem. It wasn’t important. It could have been any beautiful girl and I’d have thought of the same idea. So much for the romantic poet, eh? 🙂
The O-series of poems are one stanza poems composed before I got onto writing haiku and tanka, and short poetry while in action or traveling by select means like plane or ferry. These poems are 3-9 lines long with at least one rhyming couplet, and not of the short forms just mentioned. For the sake of elegance, I just called the collection One.