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You’re the Bee’s Kinesis: Poetry and Coevolution

William and Jane Torrence Harder Lecture
09/03/2014 - 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Call Alumni Auditorium, Kennedy Hall, Cornell University
Joanie Mackowski, Poet and Professor of English, Cornell University

A particular orchid stores nectar within foot-long spurs. A particular moth extends a foot-long tongue. As the moth probes the spurs and drinks the nectar, it inadvertently pollinates the flowers. So, Madagascar’s Comet Orchid and Sphinx moth have coevolved. Neither orchid nor moth had a plan: during the Cretaceous period, the proto-moth did not fly over to the proto-orchid and say go ahead, grow your spur real long! I’ll grow my proboscis too, and everything will be fine! Rather, their mutual design developed free from either organism’s control. Poetry, likewise, develops via a process of coevolution. Writing or reading poetry, one surrenders to sense that develops free of one’s own control.   Joanie Mackowski will discuss this coevolution and read from a diverse selection of poems, including her own.

"You're The Bee's Kinesis: Poetry and Coevolution" from Cornell Plantations on Vimeo.