Poem: Metamorphosis Examined

Poem: Metamorphosis Examined

A Chapter by Marie Anzalone

written for a friend going through a rough patch


Metamorphosis Examined
for KF

The very concept so overworked,

 it is beyond cliché-
    “I am caterpillar awakening to my butterfly” as if

it were

something we can choose,

that breathlessly happens the moment
         we decide we have arrived

 at the perfect mindset.
“You can do anything you set your mind to”

 glibly proclaimed as mantra to
    those who struggle,

by idiots who do not understand metamorphosis at all.

Shall we delve?

Caterpillar born, creature of ravenous hunger-

consumes all in its path, devouring-
     unslakeable appetite-

 one day, stops abruptly;

        ten feet searching shelter
 suspends itself tenuously via silken thread, to build-
      protective chitonous hard shell

            around its form
keeping the known world at bay.

To transform, shell becomes Vessel,

        as the body liquifies
   dissolved by juices of its own insatiable hunger
reduction to primordial soup-

a stew whose ingredients-
      leucine, ATP, deoxyribose, base pairs-

are all that remains
of caterpillar essence,

         caterpillar memory, caterpillar Self.

Identity suspended in cellular programming- all else lost.

Solely imaginal bud is intact,

   and directs, via hand and force unknown
    the reprogramming of the entity, “histogenesis”
Reconstruction of Soup. Out of Chaos-
   Order Lepidoptera.

Liquid remade- literally- to visceral form,
as heart, lungs, vessels, eyes-

       must learn anew to exist.

The caterpillar gives painful birth to itself from within-
    Four legs are lost,

   consumption drive gives way
to drive for creation, eternity, ad legacy.
   Now more-than-caterpillar,

 remade-into what we, in ignorance,
call “Butterfly”, and

     ironically, label "delicate".

The journey is still not yet complete.

This new creature struggles

    to survive emergence
      breaking down its own protective fortress,

chrysalis outgrown
to come forth naked and wet,

     vulnerable and weak,
  as a babe newly born.

An exhausted terrestrial creature

      that now must 

learn to navigate by air.

No familiar territory remaining

     in this world.
My God. The metaphor is perfectly apt,

    perhaps a little too much so-
   which is why, I think, if we pondered the truth
of what it takes, really takes- to get there-
      We would never ask for it

 of our own accord. It must be directed-
or we’d never have the courage

 to spin that first silken thread,


Let the fools who don’t know better, believe otherwise.


© 2012 Marie Anzalone

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I love how your intelligence is directly seen in here. This is a wonderful metaphor for the things people say without thinking. Its easy to talk without stepping in the shoes of someone else. It's easy to talk when we don't know where life is headed....I wish I could critique something but I feel like on this I can''t..:)

Ahh I love biology this is sooo good :)

Posted 14 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.



Posted 12 Years Ago

your knowledge is gift to your life and to others that you share with
hopefully they all will understand your intent the light you shed

this line reached a sense i needed

The caterpillar gives painful birth to itself from within-

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You have taken a subject often written about (emergence of the butterfly) and gave it new depth and intelligence, weaving in facts of biology into your poem. This is well written and gives hope to a person going through bad times.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Very interesteing take on the subject, although I think "fools" is a bit harsh for those who do not believe in God.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a way to redefine the cliche of undergoing metamorphisis in life of biolgy and science.

I grasped the meaning at the end and I have interpreted it as when one must face the truth, the dificulties of life. That's what I think anyways.

I thank you for sharing.

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

For tying together scientific acuity with the philosophy of what it takes to become something new, and to do it all around the otherwise charming metaphor of a catepillar, with a satisfying style, this piece of writing deserves recognition. The strength of this piece is in its wisdom and its depth. Well done.

Posted 14 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I must say that was chalked full of wisdom and faith... many great lessons can be learned in the philosophical gem... we are always changing and growing at any age and even when life or a bad love wraps us in a virtual cocoon it is not and and but a means to come back better then ever. A really wonderful pice of work.

Posted 14 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This is awesome.
Very good job.

Posted 14 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I learned so much reading this! A lesson of life as it can be applied to humans, as well as the knowledge of how much trouble a caterpillar goes through to get to butterfly stage.
You have done a great job weaving the story!!


Posted 14 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Intelligence definitely shines through on this. Not just in the knowledge and biology but in phrasing the lack of understanding so many people heartlessly display. I am sure KF will be pleased! Nice job HF! Sincerely, CHL

Posted 14 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

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23 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on August 8, 2009
Last Updated on October 26, 2012

A Pilgrimage in Epistles: Poems as Letters and Observations


Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xecaracoj, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Bilingual (English and Spanish) poet, essayist, novelist, grant writer, editor, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to ta.. more..


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