NaPoWriMo – Day 14 (Inspiration)

Today’s National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) prompt is: Write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. So, I was excited to see this prompt because I immediately thought of Gerald Callahan’s essay, Chimera. This essay has inspired so much of my writing since I have a creative writing and health/science background – and his essay was the first piece I ever read that drew on both fields. Years after reading the essay, I wrote a poem inspired by it. See below!

Some of our DNA
are relics of viruses
from past infections
so scientists say.

Envelope viruses like the flu,
carry lipids, protein,
and the stuff of genes,
from the hosts they travel through.

I like to think,
this means:

After years of sharing a home,
and conceivably the flu,
I’ve collected pieces of you,
stored in my chromosomes and genome.

You are not lost, you see,
You make up parts of me, literally,
saved in my “immunological memory.”


5 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo – Day 14 (Inspiration)

  1. Oh man, that is poignant!

    And your talking about scientific things in your poetry is very close to my heart! I love that, and that fact about viruses has been fascinating to me for a long time! There is a lot of poetic inspiration to be taken from the natural world, for sure! An infinite amount :).


    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 So glad to meet a fellow science nerd haha. There are definitely some science facts that have stuck with me – so much interesting stuff! I have enjoyed reading your writings as well! I fell behind on NaPoWriMo but plan to get back to it and get writing this week!

      Liked by 1 person

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