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Friday, July 11, 2008

Poetry Friday--Think Beyond Europe


We just added a fabulous poetry anthology to our collection, which is worth looking for the next time you visit: Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond [808.81 LAN].

We so often think of poetry as an "English class" thing since the only exposure to poetry we had in school was through English literature class. Poetry is so much more! Poetry is a sharing of the human experience that transcends all ethnicities! Here are a few excerpts:

from "The Age of My Father" by Shukrulla translated from the Uzbek by William M. Dirks
I hate inclement weather.
My veins are constrained by the piercing autumn wind,
Only the crows enjoy such weather,
Chasing each other, unable to share a nut.

from "nothin to waste" by Suheir Hammad
you don't waste nothin you
know the worth of
bread cupcakes carrots gummi bears whatever
falls gets picked up and
kissed up to god

from "North South East West" by Kim Kwang-Kyu translated from the Korean by Brother Anthony of Taize
In spring a flood of tender green goes rising
spreading northward, northward.
Unhindered by barbed wire or military demarkation line
it journeys north.
Rising over mountains
crossing plains,
azaleas and forsythias cross the border north.

from "A Tale" by Goenawan Mohamad translated from the Indonesian by John H. McGlynn
What might time be:
is it a gentle dance
with the softness of a spirit
or a wind to hide
death's curse?

from "Stammer" by K. Satchidanandan translated from the Malayalam by the author
Stammer is no handicap.
It is a mode of speech.

Stammer is the silence that falls
between the word and its meaning,
just as lameness is the
silence that falls between
the word and the deed.

Carolyn Forche, in the Foreward to the anthology, had this to say to the reader,
Read Language for a New Century as you would a field guide to the human condition in our time, a poetic survival manual if you will...


My advice to you, dear reader, is to also enjoy it!

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