Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Anna Kamienska: "A Prayer that Will be Answered"

Uh, why the eggs?

Because I love the eggs. It's true they do not inspire a passion in me like their lustrous great-aunt the Eggplant. But looking at them comforts me. Taking pictures of eggs is, in fact, a form of meditative yoga among the techno-rural of my particular latitude and longitude.

Because, for reasons I do not entirely understand, looking at eggs and handling them, hefting their light weight in my cupped hand, makes me feel that my life is not actually slipping away like so much sand through Time's long fingers. Eggs are the secret sharer to that poem by Anna Kamienska which also comforts me in a way too deep for me to explain.

"A Prayer that Will be Answered"

Lord let me suffer much
and then die

Let me walk through silence
and leave nothing behind not even fear

Make the world continue
let the ocean kiss the sand just as before

Let the grass stay green
so that the frogs can hide in it

so that someone may bury his face in it
and sob out his love

Make the day rise brightly
as if there were no more pain

And let my poem stand clear as a windowpane
bumped by a bumblebee’s head.

(translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanaugh)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Linda Pastan: "September"

"John the Baptist in the Wilderness," by Geertgen tot Sint-Jans
(click to see the really wonderful detail of his sad and lonely feet)

by Linda Pastan

it rained in my sleep
and in the morning the fields were wet

I dreamed of artillery
of the thunder of horses

in the morning the fields were strewn
with twigs and leaves

as if after a battle
or a sudden journey

I went to sleep in summer
I dreamed of rain

in the morning the fields were wet
and it was autumn

. . . and here is the power of poetry.

Last night I set this poem to post this morning - a warm night in late summer. And in the morning awoke to the sound of rain and a cold bedroom. The poem had come true.

I put on, for the first time this morning, a jacket and flannel-lined jeans to walk the hills.

Summer is over.

Yes, she may come back, all golden and blowsy-petaled like an opera star for a final farewell performance - and then again, perhaps, for a really, truly final farewell performance. But we all know. 

Summer is over.

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