II. Homunculus

By Eileen R. Tabios b. 1960

HOMONCULUS: n., pl. –li 2. a fully formed, miniature human body believed, according to some medical theories of the 16th and 17th centuries, to be contained in the spermatozoon
                     — The Random House Dictionary of the English Language

The political contributions of whatever he creates are coincidental
and, in any event, irrelevant. The musician may not be relying on
mathematical acoustics in his calculations. He may be performing
for auditoriums; thus, his physical realities change as he travels. Music
seems inevitable. Every question entails some notion of what is being asked.
The motley nature is not alien. Certain sounds guide the vulgar mind
to notions not anticipated by those creating the sounds. A bartender
concocts an Absolut Citroen gimlet, ice-cold but no ice, with one hand;
“with the other hand he gathers up gonorrhea.” Most of what is imparted
is not verbal. Certain philosophers must be translated before their audiences
can respond. The mind is made visible through unconscious functions.

The academic is always searching for the plumber. He is faithful to innocence.
Order is space and space is order. Order is space and space is order.
After being disaffected with Impressionism, Renoir felt he had to learn to draw
and paint all over again. In Germany, an aesthetic movement became political
and was forced to renounce art without realizing a decision had been made.
A philosopher did not realize that the man who expelled poetry from
well-ordered republics used to tremble at the thought of doing so,
thereby creating through that very act a sublime poetry.

Eileen Tabios, “II. Homunculus” from The Thorn Rosary. Copyright © 2010 by Eileen Tabios. Reprinted by permission of Marsh Hawk Press.

Source: The Thorn Rosary (Marsh Hawk Press, 2010)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Eileen R. Tabios b. 1960


Subjects Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Poetry & Poets, Music, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Poet and writer Eileen Tabios was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States when she was 10. She earned a BA in political science from Barnard College and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Founder and editor of the online poetry review journal GALATEA RESURRECTS (A POETRY ENGAGEMENT), Tabios has authored essays, fiction, and collections of mixed-genre writing. Her collections of poetry . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Poetry & Poets, Music, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries, History & Politics


Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.