Often I Imagine the Earth

Often I imagine the earth
through the eyes of the atoms we’re made of—
atoms, peculiar

The fact that the line ends in "peculiar" creates a stress on the word. The rhythm that Gerber creates by using the dashes and the repetition of "atoms" is really interesting and makes this poem dense and rich, even though it is short. -Patricia Schlutt, age 18

atoms everywhere—
no me, no you, no opinions,

It is difficult to imagine having a self when we are made up of other living things; people are not really unified wholes at all, but many many little pieces that are alive in their own way. It is amazing that we are somehow sentient and have an identity. The simple phrases of the poem underline the deconstruction of the human body to small particles: “no me, no you, no opinions.” Laura Crouch, age 20

no beginning, no middle, no end,
soaring together like those
ancient Chinese birds
hatched miraculously with only one wing,

hatched miraculously with only one wing, The simile that this poem is built around is a powerful and deep one. Gerber begins at the most basic level of existence when he starts his poem off with molecules and then he builds up to the sky, where these ancient birds fly, uniting past and present. -Patricia Schlutt, age 18

helping each other fly home.

I absolutely love the ending. The Chinese birds born with one wing helping each other fly is such a beautiful image in my head. I can see the similarities between the atoms and the birds. -Rachel McGuinness, age 20
There’s nothing more exciting in poetry than when a short poem delivers such a moment of truth. Like a Zen parable, this poem gives the reader a unique type of understanding that leads to a special experience of wisdom. In only a few words, it provides an amount of sympathy and philosophical searching you would expect in a novel. -Rian Bosse, age 23
“Often I Imagine the Earth” makes me imagine that all of the people of the Earth are one.It is a great illustration of the unity of spirit and the connection between all living beings. -Daisy
Hall, age 14
I enjoy Gerber's ability to guide the reader through cellular chaos, "atoms, peculiar / atoms, everywhere —" to an ultimately comforting ending in which the strikingly human components find safety in community. -Lauren Carlson, age 23
Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.