Thursday, April 27, 2006


April is the National Poetry Month. It's almost over and I have not posted anything yet. So, here are two poems about salamanders and their larvae:

The Axolotl and the Ammocoete

by Walter Garstang
from "Larval Forms, and other Zoological verses", 1966

Ambystoma's a giant newt who rears in swampy waters,
as other newts are wont to do, a lot of fishy daughters:
These Axolotls, having gills, pursue a life aquatic,
But, when they should transform to newts, are naughty and erratic.

They change upon compulsion, if the water grows too foul,
for then they have to use their lungs, and go ashore to prowl:
but when a lake's attractive, nicely aired, and full of food,
they cling to youth perpetual, and rear a tadpole brood.

And newts Perrenibranchiate have gone from bad to worse:
They think aquatic life is bliss, terrestrial a curse.
They do not even contemplate a change to suit the weather,
But live as tadpoles, breed as tadpoles, tadpoles all together!

Now look at Ammocoetes there, reclining in the mud,
Preparing thyroid-extract to secure his tiny food:
If just a touch of sunshine more should make his gonads grow,
The lancelet's claims to ancestry would get a nasty blow!

The Axolotl
McCord, David (1897-)

The axolotl
Looks a littl
Like the ozelotl,

"Drink a greatl
More than whatl
Fill the fatl
Whiskey bottl.

"The food it eatsl
Be no morsl:
Only meatsl
Drive its dorsl.

"Such an awfl
Fish to kettl!"
"You said a mawfl

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 9:23 PM | permalink | (5 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink