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Friday, January 15, 2010

Poetry Friday--The Poetry of Our World


Those of us in the U.S. often think of America as the artistic center of the universe. Not so! There is so much going on elsewhere in the world that we should be ashamed of not being more aware.

One way to change our point of view is through the poetry found in The Poetry of Our World: An International Anthology of contemporary Poetry [808.81 POE], edited by Jeffery Paine. The jacket copy describes it as an anthology that "includes some of the most revealing, meaningful, and beautiful poems of the second half of the twentieth century, fully representing the diverse range of poetry around the globe."

Here's a poem by the Polish writer, Zbigniew Herbert, called "Pebble" (translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Peter Dale Scott).
The pebble
is a perfect creature

equal to itself
mindful of its limits

filled exactly
with a pebbly meaning

with a scent which does not remind one of anything
does not frighten anything away does not arouse desire

its ardor and coldness
are just and full of dignity

I feel a heavy remorse
when I hold it in my hand
and its noble body
is permeated by false warmth

    --Pebbles cannot be tamed
    to the end they will look at us
    with a calm and very clear eye
Take a walk along a New England beach some time and try NOT to think about this poem!

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Great Kid Books. Make sure you stop by!

Photo by comedy nose

3 comments:

  1. Good to know about this anthology -- thanks!

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  2. "I am a rock. I am an island." That poem reminds me of SImon and Garfunkel.

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