Thursday, October 22, 2020

Poetry on Thursday

Earlier this week I was reading an article about monarch caterpillars and wondered if I could find any interesting poems about them. While this one is not specifically about monarchs, I like the evocative language along with all the valuable advice offered.  

Advice from a Caterpillar
Amy Gerstler

Chew your way into a new world.
Munch leaves. Molt. Rest. Molt
again. Self-reinvention is everything.
Spin many nests. Cultivate stinging
bristles. Don't get sentimental
about your discarded skins. Grow
quickly. Develop a yen for nettles.
Alternate crumpling and climbing. Rely
on your antennae. Sequester poisons
in your body for use at a later date.
When threatened, emit foul odors
in self-defense. Behave cryptically
to confuse predators: change colors, spit,
or feign death. If all else fails, taste terrible.

Gerstler, Amy. "Advice from a Caterpillar." Dearest Creature, Penguin Books, 2009. 

You can read more about the poet here

I wish you mindfulness, peace, molting, resting, self-reinvention, and some poetry as this week winds down.


  1. This is such a great poem! I think my favorite line is "Don't get sentimental about your discarded skins." That's really great advice. Let's all be more like caterpillars!

  2. I think this poem includes exceptional advice, especially for the times. I saw a Monarch butterfly just yesterday. I was really surprised as I usually don't see too many in my neck of the woods. I hope you have a wonderful Thursday, Bonny.

  3. Brilliant! I love the analogies! :)

  4. I like that bit about not getting sentimental about discarded skins. It's good advice - drop what no longer serves you and don't worry about it.

  5. What a great poem! I also like spin many nests - that seems like a nice world to live in...thank-you Bonny.

  6. Ha! That's a fun one! I like the discarded skin phrase like everyone else, but I love the ending - If all else fails, taste terrible." LOL

  7. What a perfectly wonderful poem! My favorite line? "Alternate crumpling and climbing." (Although "When threatened, emit foul odors in self-defense" is the line that will make me smile all day long.) XO

  8. I am seeking all the mindfulness I can get! The longer this virus hangs around the more my nerves are frayed. beautiful poem!

  9. oh Bonny - this is wonderful! I love the line about storing poisons :-)

  10. I rather like the advice from a caterpillar. Not worrying about old skin sounds like a good idea. Developing a yen for nettles - well I might have to think about that one.

  11. Bonny, read today's post that you are taking a break. Hope you are doing okay. It is a tough time. Hang on.


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