Saturday, April 10, 2010

A News Sonnet A Day for April 2010: 10

I've set myself a goal for National Poetry Month this year: Compose a sonnet based on a science-themed news story each day.

Today's installment takes its cue from "Penguin personalizer: Software that allows recognition of individual birds could aid in conservation" by John Platt at Scientific American.

Unruffled Tuxedos

A terrorist is subject to arrest
When recognition software is alarmed.
And now, a mug shot of a penguin's chest
Decreases chances of it being harmed.

Transmitters or the metal bands birds wear
For tracking their migration routes and more
Can slip or break or cause their skin to tear --
So less-invasive software forms the core

Of research to identify each bird,
Through markings on its chest that are unique.
Once useful pattern capture has occurred,
The program, given just another peek,

Can tell these threatened Africans apart.
For Robben Island penguins, quite a start.

Note: I'm at the Florida State Poets Association's "Spring Fling" this weekend. My Saturday workshop: "Worth a Thousand Words: Using Photographic Principles in Poetry."

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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