Back to Back and Belly to Belly and Other Epiphanies on Speculative Poetry, by Akua Lezli Hope

A wonderful, thoughtful piece for the first day of December, amidst the let down of post NaNoWriMo relaxation to get the creative juices … speculating.

SPECPO

The world’s first literature is speculative poetry.

We told each other stories and encoded them in the form of verse. The earliest written literature is poetry – The Story of Gilgamesh, The Iliad and Odyssey, The Ramayana and Mahabharata, Beowulf and other npoem myths, verse histories and tellings in cultures across and around the world.

I had an epiphany about speculative poetry.

It was there from the start, in my womb and my heart.

Not just as humanity’s primordial verse, our first literature, but as yours and mine, too. If you are “western” and/or “northern” your ownpersonal first experience with literature was most probably through speculative poetry. We heard it in nursery rhymes, nursery songsand if you share my race and ethnicity, in the air.

“Hey diddle the cat and the fiddle

The cow jumped over the moon

The little dog laughed to see such a sight

And the dish…

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