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Friday, September 11, 2015

Poetry Friday--"Poetry Reading"

In case you're interested, the New Hampshire Poetry Festival is being held next Saturday, the 19th, at NH Institute of Art in Manchester. Be sure to sign up before it's too late!

There will be plenty of poetry readings at the festival--from notables such as Charles Simic, to locally published poets, to unknowns at the open mic session in the evening.

For today, I have a poem found in A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry edited by Czelsaw Milosz [808.81 BOO]. By Polish poet, Anna Swir, the poem is titled, "Poetry Reading" and is translated by Czeslaw Milosc and Leonard Nathan.

I'm curled into a ball
like a dog
that is cold.

Who will tell me
why I was born,
why this monstrosity
called life.

The telephone rings. I have to give
a poetry reading.

I enter.
A hundred people, a hundred pairs of eyes.
They look, they wait.
I know for what.

I am supposed to tell them
why they were born,
why there is
this monstrosity called life.

With fame comes the expectations of those who are not famous. Expectations that the famed person may not be ready to meet!

Head down to South Carolina where Robyn is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up at Life on the Deckle Edge.


  1. Whoa. Not sure this qualifies as luminous in my book.

  2. Wow! this is not what I think of when I hear poetry reading. Interesting choice of words: monstrosity of life. Thanks for sharing, Diane.

  3. Must admire the candor - though I kind of just want to comfort this narrator a bit, take her out for a cup of coffee and tell her it's okay to postpone the reading... Having to tell someone else why they were born is not on my own to-do list, for sure. But I'd want to tell them it's important that they're here.