"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Friday, October 05, 2007

Poetry Friday


Poetry Friday is here! I feel like that needs to be shouted off rooftops this week for some reason. Could it be that I've been completely swept away by poetry all this week? I'm currently reading Marjorie Agosín's phenomenal Among the Angels of Memory and I can't think of anything else but the beautiful and powerfully evocative language. My review of it will be up this weekend, hopefully with some snippets of it). Head for the roundup over at Whimsy to see what other poetry you find.

I've also been reading two other powerful poets, Drive: The First Quartet by Lorna Dee Cervantes and Bent to the Earth, a favorite of mine by Blas Manuel de Luna (reviewed here). I've been assaulted by poetry, embraced by it, am breathing it this week.

Here's a little portion of de Luna from The S
ky Above Your Grave, his poem in honor of his brother.

“If you could see through satin and wood and earth
and bits of grass,
if you could see through the trees in winter
when their leaves are gone.
if, little brother, there were a way for the dead to see,
you would see all the ways the sky has to be beautiful.


Another portion of his poem
Today

Today, where my mother works,
a young man,
no older than myself,
lost his hand
in a machine.
He screamed when his hand came off.
My mother told me
she could not get the scream
out of her head. All around them,
the pistachios, on the conveyor belt,
and on the ground, reddened.


Or perhaps a bit of his title poem for the collection Bent to the Earth


spun the five-year-old me awake
to immigration officers,
their batons already out,
already looking for the soft spots of the body,
to my mother being handcuffed
and dragged to a van, to my father
trying to show them our green cards.

They let us go. But Alvaro
was going back.
So was his brother Fernando.
So was his sister Sonia. Their mother
did not escape,
and so was going back. Their father
was somewhere in the field,
and was free. There were no great truths

revealed to me then. No wisdom
given to me by anyone. I was a child
who had seen what a piece of polished wood
could do to a face, who had seen his father
about to lose the one he loved, who had lost
some friends who would never return,
who, later that morning, bent
to the earth and went to work.

3 comments:

Kelly Fineman said...

Powerful writing. The last two are beautifully written, even though the images are so ghastly. The first is just, well, wow!

TadMack said...

Oh, Gina. The images make me want to howl. But the artistry -- is so amazing.

Cloudscome said...

That last one makes me weep.