Formicid Form: Be Beautiful, Noble, Like the Antique Ant

The Daily Ant maintains “Formicid Form”, a Sunday ant poetry series. When possible, our Verse Correspondant, Natalia Piland, provides a short commentary at the end of each poem. Enjoy!

Be Beautiful, Noble, Like the Antique Ant (1908-1997)

By Jose Garcia Villa

Be beautiful, noble, like the antique ant,
Who bore the storms as he* bore the sun,
Wearing neither gown nor helmet,
Though he was archbishop and soldier:
Wore only his own flesh.

Salute characters with gracious dignity:
Though what these are is left to
Your own terms. Exact: the universe is
Not so small but these will be found
Somewhere. Exact: they will be found.

Speak with great moderation: but think
With great fierceness, burning passion:
Though what the ant thought
No annals reveal, nor his descendants
Break the seal.

Trace the tracelessness of the ant,
Every ant has reached this perfection,
As he comes, so he goes,
Flowing as water flows,
Essential but secret like a rose.


*All worker ants are female, but we allow Garcia Villa some poetic license here.

Jose Garcia Villa