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National Poetry Month Check-in Thread

Okay, guys I clearly have some issues with follow through at the moment-but despite the lack of posting, I haven’t forgotten about our poetry challenge. Will try to be more consistent for the second half of April.

In the meantime, how is everyone’s month going? If you pledged to read a poem a day, are you keeping up with it? Anyone want to share something they’ve particularly liked? (Dare I say, anyone want to share a poem they’ve written?)

This poem, which has been hanging out on the front page of the Poetry Foundation’s website, has stayed with me all week. I know nothing about the author, but I kind of want to seek out everything they have written.

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Ode to Dalya’s Bald Spot

BY ANGEL NAFIS

my sister wraps the throw

around herself on the small

cream loveseat & i know

for sure that she is not

a speck of dirt on a pill.

she coughs & sniffs up all

the lucky air in the room

into her excellent nostrils,

which are endless

holy wells replenishing

the soft architecture of her guts.

not even the lupus can interrupt

this ritual of beholding.

you ever look at a thing

you ain’t make, but become

a mother in the looking?

our blood is a thread tied

around my finger, tied

around her finger, that helps

me love. when her knees

swell, when her joints rust,

when her hair thins & flees

making a small continent

of skin on the side of her head,

i am witnessing her in whatever

state her body will allow.

Bismillah to the brain that

put my name next to her name

and said look at this girl your

whole life and know some kind

of peace. littlest bald spot, that no one

expected or knew how to love

you remind me of us.

i know Dalya’s thinking, how ugly

what a shame, but i wanna

build a mosque right then

& there. make an annual

hajj to that brown meadow.

slick as a coin. little planet

uncolonized. flagless.

her awful, but her own.

Then there is one of my all time favorite poems, by the great Yehuda Amichai, which manages to be mournful and complicated and exquisitely sexy, all at once.

In the Middle of This Century

BY YEHUDA AMICHAI

TRANSLATED BY ASSIA GUTMANN

In the middle of this century we turned to each other

With half faces and full eyes

like an ancient Egyptian picture

And for a short while.

I stroked your hair

In the opposite direction to your journey,

We called to each other,

Like calling out the names of towns

Where nobody stops

Along the route.

Lovely is the world rising early to evil,

Lovely is the world falling asleep to sin and pity,

In the mingling of ourselves, you and I,

Lovely is the world.

The earth drinks men and their loves

Like wine,

To forget.

It can’t.

And like the contours of the Judean hills,

We shall never find peace.

In the middle of this century we turned to each other,

I saw your body, throwing shade, waiting for me,

The leather straps for a long journey

Already tightening across my chest.

I spoke in praise of your mortal hips,

You spoke in praise of my passing face,

I stroked your hair in the direction of your journey,

I touched your flesh, prophet of your end,

I touched your hand which has never slept,

I touched your mouth which may yet sing.

Dust from the desert covered the table

At which we did not eat

But with my finger I wrote on it

The letters of your name.

Now here is a straightforward poetry prompt, stolen shamelessly from the magazine Rattle.

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Write a poem in response to something that has happened in the news this month.

Share anything you want that’s poetry related, below.

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