The Motion Picture: On Purpose

Here we have two sonnets for the first of the Star Trek movies of the original crew.

The first sonnet is inspired by our misunderstood villain and the doomed-ish couple. I strove to combine the issue of seeking meaning in our origins with our ability to create meaning for ourselves. Oh, and I totally snuck in a literary allusion to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, like a boss.

A path of learning lay before
one that would learn to be alive
and seek out then to underscore
that lasting thing that won’t archive.
Just so begins the happening
with all enigmatic needing
once every answer has been writ
save that to which we glad submit.
Some need the maker so to know
what there is left to seek beyond
the wall of logic we have donned.
Some skip the maker so to grow
and — growing — merge with their best choice
of how to give desiring voice.

The second sonnet speaks to the overall theme of the film. Meaning is what they call it in the film — and what I riffed on previously — but I wanted to get to the unspoken “meaning of meaning” or purpose. To that end, I strove to write a love letter to the ship. Have you seen the movie? The first time we see the ship, they spend a lot of time showing off her curves and such. It’s a little awkward.

Line by line, the poem deals with the definition of purpose while also pulling from the Captain’s Oath and — again — being a sort of proclamation of courtly love to the ship.

To try, to seek, to go, to learn,
to follow nought but enterprise,
and — with her gyspsy heart — to burn
unbounded through a thousand skies.
See how she rests awaiting more,
some noble quest not done before;
a thrust of curiosity
does not compare with verity.
At length she cries for stars unseen,
so sick with longing veiled in cloud
as though to wear her dream as shroud.
A thousand eyes does she make keen
with glory at their fingertips
and peace aye ready to eclipse.