Friday, March 07, 2008

POETRY FRIDAY: Forgotten Planet

I miss the days when my daughter was little. It was fun revisiting my own childhood with her…looking at the world anew through her eyes…finding surprises in the simplest things. This poem reminded me of that.

Forgotten Planet
By Doug Dorph

I ask my daughter to name the planets.
"Venus ...Mars ...and Plunis!" she says.
When I was six or seven my father
woke me in the middle of the night.
We went down to the playground and lay
on our backs on the concrete looking up
for the meteors the tv said would shower.

I don't remember any meteors. I remember
my back pressed to the planet Earth,
my father's bulk like gravity next to me,
the occasional rumble from his throat,
the apartment buildings dark-windowed,
the sky close enough to poke with my finger.

Now, knowledge erodes wonder.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

At Wild Rose Reader, I have a review of Ann Whitford Paul’s All by Herself, a book of poems and suggestions for other books that are great resources for Women’s History Month.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at The Simple and the Ordinary.


tanita✿davis said...

I wonder how kids learn to recite the planets now that our mnemonic isn't useful anymore.

I think Plunis is a great one to add.

Elaine Magliaro said...


Most of my second grade students didn't need a mnemonic to memorize the "nine" planets when I was teaching. I think Plunis would be a good name for a "dwarf" planet.

laurasalas said...

Tadmack, National Geo. recently held a contest for a new mnemonic ( though it's for 11 planets, including 3 dwarf ones.

Elaine, I love this poem and how it takes me back to the forgotten planet of childhood. Thanks for sharing it today!

jama said...

"Knowledge erodes wonder"

Yes, indeed. Plunis is still within reach, though. Thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

"Knowledge erodes wonder". Sad, but true.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I don't know if I ever left childhood!

Kelly & Jama,

I think "knowledge erodes wonder" in some instances--but not in others. I'm still filled with wonder when I look at some of those amazing photographs taken by the Hubble telescope, read about new fossil discoveries like the microraptor and giant "devil" frog, etc.

christine M said...

What a great poem! The night sky is definitely something that can fill you with wonder.

MHN said...

Loved the poem. It brought me back to when my dad and used to lie on the grass and watch the sky.
I was touched by the line:
"the sky close enough to poke with my finger"

Mary Lee said...

Maybe "knowledge erodes wonders" in some situations, but knowledge also gives us the capacity for finding humor: Plunis, the imaginary planet, as the stand-in for Pluto, the demoted planet. :-)