Fierce Poetry, Fragile Poet


I post these because they speak for me when I have no tongue or sense and they say what cannot be said by me even were I longing to say it.

To My Lady of Poetry
Alfonsina Storni

I throw myself here at your feet, sinful,
my dark face against your blue earth,
you the virgin among armies of palm trees
that never grow old as humans do.

I don't dare look at your pure eyes
or dare touch your miraculous hand:
I look behind me and a river of rashness
urges me guiltlessly on against you.

With a promise to mend my ways through your
divine grace, I humbly place on our
hem a little green branch,

for I couldn't have possibly lived
cut off from your shadow, since you blinded me
at birth with your fierce branding iron.

Note "My lady" not "Our lady." The poem seems to be about the Blessed Virgin and is certainly strewn with her trappings, but what is adored here is not Mary, Mother of God, but the muse of poetry. And what is said here is said thoroughly in the last tercet because it seems to me that there is a way of seeing that cannot be undone or unseen, a blindsight that is the gift and curse of the poet and no amount of undoing can change it or alter it one iota--it is laid upon one at birth, or at least very early on and it is through that lens that all is seen that can be seen and seen in ways that it seems others do not. Although that last may simply be pretension and pride.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 7, 2007 7:15 AM.

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