This video contains poultry errors (not paltry)…

Sometimes further research reveals contradictions to previous research, and revision becomes necessary. This happened to a poem I considered complete and celebrated with a video. Some of the poem’s assumptions were flawed.

I had a longstanding false impression that if an egg-yolk has a blood, the egg was fertilized. This is not necessarily so. The original ODE TO A GOOD EGG also assumed that egg-candling can be done to separate eggs to be hatched from those to be sold to be eaten as eggs. It seems this determination is made ahead of time. Eggs to be hatched are incubated for a few days then candled to check that the embryo is developing properly. Eggs to be sold as grocery eggs are candled for grading.

In light of all this, I have revised the poem.



You’ve never been outside
the shell of yourself.
A dim glint of candle flame
was dawn for you, and dusk.

If a rooster had been given his way
to produce a certain murkiness within,
you could have been warmed to life
and pecked through this shell of yourself.

Alas, this is to be
your cold cold home
neighbored by eleven brethren,
But the good news is
there may still be
a sunny side to your future.

– Mike Cohen (2017 poem revised 2020)


I don’t now if the poem is improved poetically. But it is more accurate, albeit not impeccable.

The Crime of Poetic Analysis

            THE AUTOPSY

A mysterious beauty, the poem…

Suspicious, curious, fascinated,

we do what we must

to understand. But

analysis of beauty is not beautiful

There is scraping, cutting, and digging.

When whole, it is too hard to grasp.

The urge to take it to hand is too strong to resist.

We must insist. Must scrape, cut, dig

to make it comprehensible.

When at last we’ve seen enough

to satisfy our suspicion and curiosity,

we understand how grand a thing it was intact,

how terrible a thing we’ve done: The autopsy.

Sorry. We should at least have waited

until after it was dead.


Of course there are no other things that are not part of the universe.  So there is not “the universe and other things”; there’s the universe and that’s it.  There’s nothing else to talk about.  Anything we discuss is part of the universe, and a very small part at that.   For instance, the solar eclipse…

The solar eclipse looks like a big deal from here.  But universally speaking, it’s not a notable event.  There are stars forming, solar systems developing, galaxies exploding onto and off the scene.  Our solar eclipse is a tiny footnote in the intergalactic news of the day.   So as the moon comes moseying in front of the sun, try to keep things in perspective.