Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Primate Behaviour

Kortlandt, who studied chimpanzees in the wild, concealed
within his blind, would sometimes see them find
his eyes, and stare in thought and wander off.
Contemplation and doubt were what he saw
or thought he saw, behind their searching eyes
these times and others, as if they tried
to make sense of an always, or often, puzzling world.

It seems a sad as well as a wondrous thing.

He doesn't say, but he leaves the thought to occur
that our primate nature could be, not as we think
it is: to know, but only to be disturbed,
as these simpler beasts are disturbed, in their simpler world,
that all the unknown should strike us, even though
it stops at that. No more. We stare in thought.

-William Bronk, (from The Empty Hands)

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