So I just got back (never announce your departures–it’s like leaving a “rob my house” sign on your door) from many days of driving, smiling, lifting, hauling, driving, shivering, waiting, driving, greeting, hugging, driving, and driving. With very little chance to check email (students who did not come to class for the last half of the semester are now wondering what they can do to make up for it), let alone check comments here. But now that I have, I am glad I did. Any less-happy weekend, and the comment on this post would have been in the position of making up for the whole weekend. And it likely would have. But this was a great weekend, so the comment was only like the third or fourth most happy-making thing.
The comment notes that
My sister asked our niece to read this at her wedding today. It was paired with “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Lear (read by the bride’s mother).
Thank you for this wonderful poem!
I have no idea where this wedding was, nor who the bride and groom were, but if any of you know, congratulate them for me and (only with consent) kiss the bride for me. She clearly has spectacular taste in poetry (Lear, I mean–plus, she chose mine!)
So, for those of you who didn’t click through, It was the Evolutionary Biology Valentine’s Day Poem (one of the few of my own poems I know by heart and can and will recite):
Why I love you and you love me—
Which anyone can plainly see—
Is mostly in our genes.
No, not the ones you buy in stores,
But what a scientist explores–
I like the way you look in yours,
And you know what that means.
What subtly-coded stimulus
Takes you and me, and makes us “us”
And makes us feel ‘twas ever thus?
The list of suspects narrows.
No longer are we all a-shiver
From some Cupid with a quiver
Out of which he might deliver
Fusillades of Eros.
Nor Dopamine, nor Serotonin
Tell us why our hearts are moanin’
Though they serve to help us hone in
On–not why, but how;
The parasympathetic blush,
Adrenaline to bring a rush,
Are how, not why, I’ve got a crush
On you, my darling, now.
But if old Charles Darwin’s right,
The reason that the merest sight
Of you will always give delight
Throughout our species’ family tree,
Producing proper progeny
Is what determined you and me
And Darwin was the witness.
Is thinking that you’re oh so sweet
And how you’ll make my life complete
Some trick to make our gametes meet?
It seems it may be so.
I feel the way I feel today
Because some bit of DNA
Sees your genetics on display
And wants to say “hello.”
But think of this, for what it’s worth:
Millennia before my birth
That DNA had roamed the earth,
In residents thereof;
The neat thing is, it’s really true,
The feeling that I have for you
Although, of course, it feels brand-new
Is truly ageless love.