April 18, 2013 § 1 Comment
In the Jewish culture, the number 36 is significant: twice 18, which is the numeric value of chai. When today’s prompt asked us to use the same word for the beginning and the end of a poem, I wanted something random. I took the 36th word on the 36th page of my closest book (nothing 36ish about the book, The Group), and used it. Yes, if you look closely I cheated and put ‘my’ in front of the first word, but I used the same phrase at the beginning and the end.
My room calls for me — beyond the sky,
surrounded by spinning orbs and freckled stars.
Watch me float, dizzy with fear and joy.
Send Bradbury to hold my hand
or have a majestic angel purse his lips
and drive me even farther.
Please let me find in space my room.
April 17, 2013 § 2 Comments
Says NaPoWriMo, “Early on in the month, I asked you to write a valediction — a poem of farewell. Today, let’s try the opposite, and write poems of greeting.” I did, and below is my greeting, or would be greeting, as things stand.
If you were an emperor,
I would welcome you with perfumed limbs and painted toes.
If you were a warrior,
fresh berries and gentle doeskin would rest near your fire.
If you were a craftsman,
I’d rub oil in your hands and have stew in your dish.
If you were my love,
I’d give you my heart.
April 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Quite an odd prompt (which means it’s unfamiliar to me), which became fun: take a poem written in another language, use the written word to imagine another meaning, and “translate”. I spent very little time on this, so please forgive the roughness. First, I’ll post my poem,, then the Polish, then the translation, so you don’t have to do the work. I didn’t read the translation first.
International Zoo (Villars)
A sleepy zoo opens internationally
with decisive mojo.
Solemn mortals — Papi, Karen –
chew zesty ravioli.
We don’t mean to be depressed.
Kotya Anna isn’t feeling well.
It’s a mystery at Verdun
and crazy dancing at Auschwitz.
No wildness, cries, or scares,
please kindness and zygotes.
Sklepy zoologiczne. Obóz internowanych
z mojego dzieciństwa.
Świnki morskie. Papugi. Kanarki.
Chorowity zapach niewoli.
W domu wypluwałam depresję.
Kotka Antygona nie pokazała się więcej.
Łapki na myszy spod Verdun
i potem ciąg dalszy aż do Auschwitz.
Nie wiedziałam czym się to skończy
kiedy zgłaszałam się do życia.
PET SHOPS (translation by Davidson and Nowakowska)
The internment camp
from my childhood.
Guinea pigs. Parrots. Canaries.
The sickly scent of captivity.
Sawdust of events.
At home I spat out depression.
Antigone the cat didn’t show up any more.
A mousetrap from Verdun
and then all the way to Auschwitz.
I didn’t know how it would end
when I signed up for life.