Misidentifying Moths and My Poem “Summer Love”

June 23, 2012

Cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia)

My old friend and former decompositionalist compatriot, Penny Perkins, posted a gorgeous picture of a moth on Facebook today, which she misidentified as an “Endangered Emperor Moth.”

I recognized her mistake right away. The moth was, in fact, a Luna moth (Actias luna) and not Saturnia pavonia.

I noted this on her post in the comments section and also the fact that neither moth is endangered. She thanked me and then asked if, perchance, I had any poems about moths. I did or do.

(At least, I thought it was about moths. I’m never sure anymore what I was writing about when I wrote a poem!)

Here is my poem “Summer Love”:

The female cecropia moth,

Hyalophora cecropia, emerges

As in a stop-action film: swollen

Abdomen shrinking while wings

Rise, fill, and form.  Pheromones

Kick in, attracting a male from miles away.

They couple quickly—how easy love can be.

Linked like this, at terminus,

They are most vulnerable to predators.

They will stay this way, available

To each other, for hours—

Then vanish as memory fades.

 

–Scott Edward Anderson

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2 Responses to “Misidentifying Moths and My Poem “Summer Love””

  1. Daouane Says:

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  2. […] & Pitbull,” or the cecropia moth that is or isn’t the subject of my poem, “Summer Love,” insects are also not strangers to my poetry […]


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