152 • Sapient cephalopod

152 • Sapient cephalopod

The octopus looked in my eye
As he clung to my shivering thigh.
‘Man is scarcely unique,
Just a hideous freak,’
He observed. I could make no reply.

Alarmingly the octopus sets out to debunk Descartes‘s teaching, that ‘animals are mere machines, but man stands alone’, but its intentions are contradicted by the scenario itself. For one thing, the man is not ‘standing alone’. For another, only a unique species could fantasise such a damning put-down from a ‘mere machine’ – and then be too stupid to come up with an appropriate riposte.

4 thoughts on “152 • Sapient cephalopod

  1. My partner and I ready your Verse Marathon daily, Mr Lime. would you agree, it is a terrible shame that it has such an offputting and Misanthropic tone to the poems. Hasn’t mankind accomplished anyhting you would consider celebrating? We wish you a more positive and more happy outlook on this world and the next. GL

    1. Hi GL

      Sorry for the belated response; I hadn’t seen your comment. I must say it’s gratifying that you and your partner read my offerings *daily* if you find them so offputting. If I changed the tone to something more celebratory, I fear you would want to visit *more than daily*, and the ensuing frustration might start to grind you down. To answer your question directly, yes, I think mankind has accomplished various marvels, and I’ve occasionally referred to William Blake (for instance) at My Dog Errol, I believe. The person who perfected Roquefort cheese probably deserves a pat on the back. Frank Key was a great contemporary writer. Haydn knocked out some good string quartets. Marcel Duchamp set the world thinking on rational lines for a short while. Andromeda Sago is unfeasibly pretty … does that count? So yes, there are Reasons to be Cheerful. Werner Herzog. Chris Goode. Mervyn Peake. Russell Hoban. Let’s hope the subconscious brings up more writers and artists and musicians as subjects for rhymes. Meanwhile, many thanks for your interest, and good wishes.


  2. On the subject of octopoda, may I recommend ‘Other Minds’ by Peter Godfrey-Smith, and of course not forgetting the marvellous forest giants of Dougal Dixon’s imagined future.

    1. Godfrey-Smith is the cuttle-fish man, right? I don’t mean he peddles cuttle-fish, door to door, that would be grotesque. I mean I recall his documentary on the subject. Thank you for the reminder!


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