Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Exile and the Poem

The previous post reminded me a the book I was reading this weekend, Burnt Sugar: A Collection of Contemporary Cuban Poetry, edited by Lori Marie Carlson and Oscar Hijuelos. I post two snippets from the assorted poems, which like poetry itself are about all sorts of things, not just politics. By the way, it is contemporary poetry, but worth a read.

from “For the Cuban Dead” by Ricardo Pau-Llosa

There is no enough in exile. Not enough anger,
and the blanket of safety always leaves the feet bare.
And it is here, no matter how clean and golden,
that one learns how different the wrist and fly
and the shot of a wave, how it never stops
calling although the law of distance deafens.
Memory is the heart’s gravity.
The accent of their children
becomes unbearably alien, a dampness
from the sidewalk creeping past the thin sole
and into the ignored sock. Now nothing
escapes notice and the balance is always against.

from “Destinies” by Jesús J Barquet

2. (Exile)
is finally understanding
that the day we have awaited so long
will be nothing more than the news
between two commercials
for Pepsi and Tylenol

tr. Lori Carlson

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