Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! September 5. 6:30. Cake and beverage. Meet the Authors.

Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! September 5. 6:30. Cake and beverage. Meet the Authors.
Prize Winning Stories from NOWW

Monday, December 28, 2015

Poetry Month. What is your all time favourite???


Wistawa Szynborska

December is Poetry Month. Dear reader, what poem speaks to you?  What  poem first struck into your heart? The one that you still remember, if only a fragment. (send ideas, comments  and titles to joanbaril@gmail.com ). 

Recently the New York Times asked prominent writers this question and I was amazed that some chose Dr. Seuss and one picked High Flight, that old chestnut which I had to memorize in school and can recite to this day although occasions to do so are few. ("Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter's silver wings" etc and so on). But beyond these. the choices ranged from Sylvia Path to Robert Service.  

Love to hear what poems, old or new, we cherish. 

Below is one of my favourites this year.  It seems to me that Wistawa Szymborska, the marvellous Polish poet and Nobel Prize winner, has written the poem for the dispossessed, those who flee, those who struggle on. To me, this encapsulates the past year, 2015.

A TALE BEGUN

The world is never ready
For the birth of a child.

Our ships are not yet back from Winnland
We still have to get over the S. Gothard pass.
We’ve got to outwit the watchmen on the desert of Thor,
fight our way through the sewers of Warsaw’s centre,


gain access to King Harold, the Butterpat,
and wait until the downfall of minister Fouche.
Only in Acapulco
Can we begin anew.

We’ve run out of bandages,
Matches, hydraulic presses, arguments and water.
We haven’t got the trucks, we haven’t got the Minghs’ support.
The skinny horse won’t be enough to bribe the sheriff.
No news so far about the Tartars’ captives.
We’ll need a warmer cave for winter
And someone who can speak Harari.

We don’t know whom to trust in Ninevah,
what conditions the Prince-Cardinal will decree,
which names Beria has still got inside his files,
They say Karol the Hammer strikes tomorrow at dawn.
In this situation, let’s appease Cheops,
report ourselves of our own free will,
change faiths,
pretend to be friends with the Doge,
and say that we’ve got nothing to do with the Kwabe tribe.

Time to light the fires.
Let’s send a cable to grandma in Zabierzow.
Let’s untie the knots in the yurt’s leather straps.

May delivery be easy,
may our child grow and be well.
Let him be happy, from time to time
and leap over abysses.
Let his heart have strength to endure
And his mind be awake and reach far.

But not so far that it sees into the future.
Spare him
that one gift,
o heavenly powers.

send comments to joanbaril@gmail.com




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