A poem is a gift, a bit of medicine, a shot (the good kind), a ray of sunshine, a soaking rain for the parched.
A good poem is like a perfectly executed recipe, with each ingredient complimenting the others, a trifle that sings.
Or a bit of music that makes you stop, listen, each instrument layering lovingly on the others, weaving a cushioned box of sound.
An invitation to sit a bit, shake off the cobwebs and unleash the brain.
A hand, reaching out to touch you from behind, from the mysteries of the past, ashes in the mouths of the dead.
I stumble upon these gifts of poetry often, accidentally, serendipitously. They crouch in a thinking corner and roll around on my tongue long after.
So, I’m going to share the poems that I fall in love with, the poems I can’t get away from, and spread the love a bit.
They are not my poems. Some of them are written by famed poets, some of them fly under the radar. But they should, none of them, be forgotten or buried and maybe they will find new eyes here. Maybe, if you find one that sings, you will seek others by the same poet. Poetry may save you.
by Jorge Luis Borges (Translated, from the Spanish, by Stephen Kessler)
My cane, my pocket change, this ring of keys,
The obedient lock, the belated notes
The few days left to me will not find time
To read, the deck of cards, the tabletop,
A book, and crushed in its pages the withered
Violet, monument to an afternoon
Undoubtedly unforgettable, now forgotten,
The mirror in the west where a red sunrise
Blazes its illusion. How many things,
Files, doorsills, atlases, wine glasses, nails,
Serve us like slaves who never say a word,
Blind and so mysteriously reserved.
They will endure beyond our vanishing;
And they will never know that we have gone.