Poem of the Day: A Woman Without A Country
Mar 15th, 2017 by

As dawn breaks he enters
A room with the odor of acid.
He lays the copper plate on the table.
And reaches for the shaft of the burin.
Dublin wakes to horses and rain.
Street hawkers call.
All the news is famine and famine.
The flat graver, the round graver,
The angle tint tool wait for him.
He bends to his work and begins.
He starts with the head, cutting in
To the line of the cheek, finding
The slope of the skull, incising
The shape of a face that becomes
A foundry of shadows, rendering —
With a deeper cut into copper —
The whole woman as a skeleton,
The rags of  her skirt, her wrist
In a bony line forever
                                        severing
Her body from its native air until
She is ready for the page,
For the street vendor, for
A new inventory which now
To loss and to laissez-faire adds
The odor of acid and the little,
Pitiless tragedy of  being imagined.
He puts his tools away,
One by one; lays them out carefully
On the deal table, his work done.

Source: Poetry April 2013

Eavan Boland

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Poem of the Day: The Boatman
Mar 11th, 2017 by

We were thirty-one souls all, he said, on the gray-sick of sea
in a cold rubber boat, rising and falling in our filth.
By morning this didn’t matter, no land was in sight,
all were soaked to the bone, living and dead.
We could still float, we said, from war to war.
What lay behind us but ruins of stone piled on ruins of stone?
City called “mother of the poor” surrounded by fields
of cotton and millet, city of jewelers and cloak-makers,
with the oldest church in Christendom and the Sword of Allah.
If anyone remains there now, he assures, they would be utterly alone.
There is a hotel named for it in Rome two hundred meters
from the Piazza di Spagna, where you can have breakfast under
the portraits of film stars. There the staff cannot do enough for you.
But I am talking nonsense again, as I have since that night
we fetched a child, not ours, from the sea, drifting face-
down in a life vest, its eyes taken by fish or the birds above us.
After that, Aleppo went up in smoke, and Raqqa came under a rain
of leaflets warning everyone to go. Leave, yes, but go where?
We lived through the Americans and Russians, through Americans
again, many nights of death from the clouds, mornings surprised
to be waking from the sleep of death, still unburied and alive
but with no safe place. Leave, yes, we obey the leaflets, but go where?
To the sea to be eaten, to the shores of Europe to be caged?
To camp misery and camp remain here. I ask you then, where?
You tell me you are a poet. If so, our destination is the same.
I find myself now the boatman, driving a taxi at the end of the world.
I will see that you arrive safely, my friend, I will get you there.
Source: Poetry October 2016

Carolyn Forché

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Poem of the Day: Legacies
Mar 8th, 2017 by

her grandmother called her from the playground   
       “yes, ma’am”
       “i want chu to learn how to make rolls” said the old   
woman proudly
but the little girl didn’t want
to learn how because she knew
even if she couldn’t say it that
that would mean when the old one died she would be less   
dependent on her spirit so
she said
       “i don’t want to know how to make no rolls”
with her lips poked out
and the old woman wiped her hands on
her apron saying “lord
       these children”
and neither of them ever
said what they meant
and i guess nobody ever does
Nikki Giovanni, “Legacies” from My House. Copyright © 1972 by NikkiGiovanni. Used with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: The Collected Poems of Nikki Giovanni(2003)

Nikki Giovanni

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Poem of the Day
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End Date: Sunday Apr-16-2017 21:23:34 PDT
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Joni Mitchell THE COMPLETE POEMS AND LYRICS First Printing
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