Featured in

  • Published 20110906
  • ISBN: 9781921758225
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

A NEW MALE human being entered the universe a year ago, with one-eighth of his genetic material identical to my mother’s and one-eighth identical to my father’s. Those millions of delicate fragments of code, assembled around a hundred years ago, were duplicated perfectly, then duplicated perfectly again and finally copied into a microscopic drop of cell matter, to begin yet another voyage through space and time and consciousness with its own unique human identity. It is a mystery, to me. But tens of thousands of mysteries like that happen every day.

Within a hundred years the billions of molecules that make up this lively, cheerful, noisy creature will disperse and never reassemble again: except for that tiny fraction that may end up in another human’s genetic make-up to travel down the centuries, mixing with other genetic material and incarnating again and again.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

About the author

John Tranter (1943–2023)

John Tranter published more than twenty collections of verse. His collection Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected (UQP, 2006), won a number of major...

More from this edition

Beyond truth and justice

EssayAT THE FUNERAL of Chile's General Pinochet, in December 2006, Francisco Cuadrado Prats stood for hours in a queue of grieving mourners. When it...

Heart’s dream

PoetryOnly recently did it occur to me that she might have dreamt a different life, a creativity not bound by all the matter of...

Can you write a history of yourself?

GR Online‘EVERY HISTORIAN SHOULD write an autobiography,’ wrote the historian AJP Taylor, introducing his own, A Personal History (1983). ‘The experience teaches us to distrust our sources...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.