Night comes cool and soft and makes the flies lie
Down—wanting for nothing more than land or
Dream-thunk feels of banana peels and wine:
Even the smallest brains need rest to work.
Fermentation seems so far away when
Life grows immobile or turns upside down.
They’ll stay until the sun rises again
Inspired by: Sophie Green’s Flight Paths and Motion, 2014, a collection of symbols that explore the motion and structure of bodies—some natural, some manufactured—in flight.
Symbol: #16 of 45
Poetic Form: I knew I had to tackle it at some point—and with the designer hailing from the UK, it was time for a Shakespearean sonnet. The sonnet form sounds do-able enough—14 lines of ten syllables each that follow a simple rhyme scheme. The catch (to me, at least) is that sonnets are written in iambic pentameter. You can also think of each line as made up of five “feet”—and each foot is comprised of two syllables, a short, or unstressed syllable followed by a long, stressed one. This is what gives the poem its rhythm. Feeling intimidated, I decided I would cheat a little in the name of following the Phaistos Project’s Writer In Residency Guidelines—each poem needs to be short enough to be easily shared on social media. But 14 lines is just wayyyy toooo long for Instagram, right? So, I wrote a half-sonnet of 7 lines. The length of the poem has nothing to do with the size of the subject, though!
Process: As I was looking through Green’s symbols, I noticed there was a fruit fly buzzing around the room—and wouldn’t you know, her #16 symbol features a fly! With all the focus on flight, I started to wonder if flies actually ever stopped flying—and if they ever sleep. A little research turned up some fascinating information, mostly that flies need just as much sleep as humans do. We, however, don’t have sticky soles that enable us to grip the floor and hang upside-down.