Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Fireblossom Friday: Lament For The Thylacine

Hello Toads and pond followers. Fireblossom here with another Fireblossom Friday for you. 

Does it ever seem to you that there is something....something that should be there, but isn't? Or, has there ever been a thing so common that it seemed it could never be gone, but now it is?  I can think of one--the thylacine.

The thylacine was a carnivorous marsupial--let *that* sink in--which lived in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea from time immemorial until the early 20th century. Also known as the Tassie Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, it had striped hindquarters and its mouth could open to the widest gape of any land animal. Because it predated on chickens and livestock, a bounty was placed on its head, and it was hunted to extinction. The last known thylacine died in the Hobart Zoo in 1936.

And yet, the thylacine still holds a fascination for many of us today. Sightings occur rather often, and though none have been proven authentic, it is tantalizing to think that this odd and remarkable animal might still survive. In a larger sense, the thylacine is emblematic of human short-sightedness and the loss of something irreplacable. 

For our writing, there are several possibilities. You could write about the actual creature, either from your own or the animal's (imagined) point of view. You could write about the thylacine metaphorically, as a symbol for anything gone, wasted, missed, or surviving despite all odds against it. Finally, you could celebrate the thylacine for its utter uniqueness--there is no other like it. Take this and run with it, poets, but I prefer that you not go the jokey route, ok? Let's show this fascinating animal some respect, at long last. Poems of any length or style are fine, as is flash fiction or flash 55 (exactly 55 words.) Then link, visit, etc.

11 comments:

brudberg said...

Fascinating topic... and with a list of animals extincted constantly growing we need to show these animals respect. Fully agree on that. Will get back and write about this after I've spent some time thinking.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Thanks for choosing such a fascinating topic, Shay. Alas, I'll be away from home this weekend, but I shall give the theme some thought and can hopefully put pen to paper before I go away.

said...

No disrespect, but those things creep me out. Like horror movie fear swallowed back in my throat~

Though I do love the word itself. Anything that begins with "thy lac(e)" sounds good to me.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

This one I HAD to write to! Thank you very much for creating the opportunity.

(Btw we Tasmanians call it 'Tassie Tiger' – though it is pronounced 'Tazzy'.)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I LOVE Fireblossom Fridays. Great topic!

Fireblossom said...

Rosemary--"Tassie Tiger" it is, then!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Thanks!

Marian said...

Wow, Shay. I was unfamiliar with this amazing creature! Maybe I can come up with something in response. I really appreciate you sharing this!!

Sara McNulty said...

I had never heard of this animal. Glad to learn about its life.
One more species gone.

Jui said...

Thank you for introducing the Thylacine. I had never heard of this creature. It is sad that this species is extinct.
Jui Positive Cookies

Susie Clevenger said...

I have posted my poem both here and in Toni's moon prompting. Thank you for the prompt.