Monday, September 29, 2008

Three Monkeys Poem...

I was reminded today of a poem that I used to teach in my ninth grade literature classes all the time. We would discuss (only on a surface level, though) how different people felt about the theories of evolution, etc. I would twist the discussion around to perspective and point of view, which have always been particularly favorite topics of mine. I enjoy looking at issues, stories, etc. from as many different perspectives as I can glean from them. And I enjoy working the word "glean" into as many conversations as possible.

What reminded me was an online "discussion" with my virtual students in my Contemporary Literature course (I guess they are real students, but in a virtual classroom). We are reading the book Life of Pi, and in case you plan to read it, I won't spoil it for you. (It's worth the read, I promise you.) They had to do a mini-research project in which they had to research an animal based on the first letter of their last names. The animals were zebra, orangutan, hyena, and tiger. (If you've read the book, you recognize the significance of those animals.)

Anyway, one of them researched the symbolism in literature and religion of the orangutan, and she went off on a mini-tirade about evolution and no one ever convincing her that she descended from apes, etc. It reminded me of this poem, and I plan to share it with them tomorrow night during our live computer session.

Mind you, I'm not taking a stand one way or another on this issue, and if I were I wouldn't be stupid enough to publish it here. I just thought it was a cute poem.

Darwin's Mistake

Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree.
Discussing things as they're said to be.
Said one to the others, "Now listen, you two
There's a certain rumor that can't be true,

That man descended from our noble race.
That very idea is a disgrace.
No monkey ever deserted his wife
Starved her babies or ruined her life,

And another thing you will never see
A monkey build a fence around a coconut tree
And let the coconuts go to waste,
Forbidding all other monkeys to taste.

If I put a fence around this tree
Starvation would force you to steal from me.
Here's another thing a monk won't do,
Go out at night and get on a stew,

And use a gun or club or knife
To take some other monkey's life
Yes, man descended, the ornery cuss -
But, brother, he didn't descend from us."

--Author Unknown

*There are other version of the poem out there, but I like this one because it includes the part about building fences, and I like that...........say it with me................perspective.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

per...per...what!? Hehe...just kidding.