The Sky in Your Mouth

 

“A poem … is when you are in love and have the sky in your mouth.”

In honor of National Poetry Month, I wanted to share a few poems I’ve been savoring lately. I hope you enjoy!

Like You

Roque Dalton

translated by Jack Hirschman

Like you I
love love, life, the sweet smell
of things, the sky-blue
landscape of January days.

And my blood boils up
and I laugh through eyes
that have known the buds of tears.

I believe the world is beautiful
and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.

And that my veins don’t end in me
but in the unanimous blood
of those who struggle for life,
love,
little things,
landscape and bread,
the poetry of everyone.

jonathan-pielmayer-459273-unsplash

The Wild Rose

Wendell Berry

sometimes hidden from me

in daily custom and in trust,

so that I live by you unaware

as by the beating of my heart.

suddenly you flare in my sight,

a wild rose blooming at the edge

of thicket, grace and light

where yesterday was only a shade,

and once more I am blessed, choosing

again what I chose before.

milos-tonchevski-304529-unsplash

 

The Place Where We Are Right

Yehuda Amichai

From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.

The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.

But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

photo-1478954755238-0bb0af1dc326

And, perhaps my personal favorite…

Kindness

Naomi Shihab Nye1952

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. 
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

javier-canada-105843-unsplash

Want more great poetry this month? Some of my favorites are Madeline L’Engel, Langston Hughes, and Billy Collins. Check them out and see what you think! And share the link to your favorite poem in the comments so I can enjoy. 🙂 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s