Ladybugs, houseflies and porcupines

I don’t look at my video stats very often, so I had no idea until tonight that the most-watched videopoem I’ve ever made is also my longest: “Fly Away Home,” for a poem I wrote called “Harlequin Ladybird,” has been played 915 times, despite being over five minutes long.

As I note on Vimeo, it’s as much a music video as it is a videopoem. I imagine the music (by Polish composer efiel on Jamendo) has a lot to do with its relative popularity. One thing I don’t mention in the notes is that I subsequently realized the last phrase of the poem — “small, bad heart” — was involuntarily plagiarized from Louise Glück. Which isn’t a big enough deal to make me want to take down the video altogether, but it will certainly keep me from ever adding it to a print collection.

In second place, with 648 plays, is the video I made with my translation of Lorca’s “Gacela of Unforeseen Love,” starring a housefly.

I chalk that up to the popularity of Lorca and searches for that poem by name. It also helps that both videos have been up for almost two years. In two more years, I imagine my videos for poems by Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral will lead the pack.

Just to keep this in perspective, my most popular video upload of any kind is “Argument with a Porcupine,” which has been viewed 129,806 times on YouTube.

And just to keep that in perspective, I call your attention to “Porcupine who thinks he is a puppy!“: 2,474,271 views. Which may not have anything to do with poetry, but warms my heart nonetheless. Hurrah for porcupines!

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa.


  1. Well that porcupine surely is a case! What a dear thing. But one wonders how this animal is ever going to be rehabilitated to life in the wild when it’s so comfortable with people. Perhaps benign captivity may be the only way forward.


    1. Yeah, the description on YouTube makes me think that’s the case — he was someone’s illegal pet before the wildlife center took custody. Presumably kept in a cage and so forth. I shudder to think.


  2. No doubt a great many of us are more fond of porcupines than we once were because of the Bontapine…

    And now I think Ivy must have been wise when she suggested insects for qarrtsiluni!


    1. Yes, insects do have a sizable fan club. Any why not? They are one class of wild creatures that everyone’s familiar with.


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