Naming Things

Naming Things

The Neander Valley
outside of Dusseldorf
is named after
Joachim Neander
a German poet
who liked to wander
lonely as a German poet
through this now eponymous valley
unaware that beneath his feet
lay the numb skull and bones
of a species whose name
would become synonymous
with brute stupidity:
named after the valley
which was named after
Joachim Neander.
That’s what we get to do,
name things
and judge their worth
we even got to name ourselves:
Homo Sapiens
Wise Man
and if that’s not hubris….

This poem first appeared in The Galway Review.

It also appeared a while back in Open Link weekend over at earthweal

13 thoughts on “Naming Things

  1. Eilene Lyon

    Well, I hadn’t seen this gem the first time around, but we’ll done! As a family historian, I find the naming of places to be evidentiary. Sometimes it does wind up rather ironic in ways that could never have been foreseen.



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