History facts as poetry prompts!

I’ve always been fascinated by random  and useless history facts; it’s one of those weird obsessions that I just can’t shake. I tend to frequent tumblrs like http://historyfactaday.tumblr.com/, especially when in need of inspiration for poetry (though the sources aren’t listed so be warned that they might not all be true). Some facts are silly and pointless and then others that seem equally pointless at first glance become something inside of you. For instance, on the tumblr I linked to, I read about the tallest living thing in the world being a tree in California, but that the location of it is not revealed to the public because of the fear that humans will travel to it and ruin its ecosystem. Which is such a haunting thought that speaks both to humanity’s entitlement and even the strangeness of it – why would we feel the desire to visit (take pictures of, pose with, etc.) the tallest living thing?

And maybe these things aren’t inspiring to anyone else, but that’s interesting in itself; what do the things that stick with us and become our obsessions say about us?

One Reply to “History facts as poetry prompts!”

  1. I totally understand what you mean! I love random “fun” facts. Something that drives my housemates nuts is when I walk into a room and shout my “fun” fact of the day (sometimes they’re real, and sometimes they’re made up…you’ll never know which is which though).

    What you said about people traveling to the world’s tallest tree really let me feeling rather sad. I can 100% see a couple in matching pastels posing next to it as they put bunny ears over the other’s head. Why do we have an obsession of visiting such things? Is it to say to our friends that we (and not them) did/saw this unique thing? Is it to be able to post a photo to Facebook with a caption so everyone and their dentist knows how we spent our summer? Then, there’s the poor little (or not so little) tree. He’s just minding his own business when suddenly BAM! All these stupid people are milling around near his trunk and he gets no say in any of this!!!!

    Before I continue my bizarre rant, I’m happy you shared this, and that I now know I’m not the only one who gets invested in random facts as well.

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