I wrapped up my National Poetry Month series on Wisława Szymborska at Tweetspeak Poetry this morning. I’m actually feeling a little disappointed that the month is over so soon, and that I’ve finished reading the collection, Poems: New and Collected. I’ll certainly be exploring new options for May.
National Poetry Month Poetry Dare: Wisława Szymborska’s “Could Have” – on explaining good fortune, and all the things that “could have” happened (but didn’t)
National Poetry Month Poetry Dare: Wisława Szymborska’s “A Speech at the Lost-and-Found” – an attempt to grasp infinity in the curved handle of a missing blue umbrella
National Poetry Month Poetry Dare: Wisława Szymborska’s “Interview with a Child” – this might be my favorite (I’m not sure) on the way a child’s mind persists in seeing things as more than what they seem
My poems in response:
What You Couldn’t Have Known (after Szymborka’s “Could Have”)
If you’d made the flight,
you’d have argued
with the flight attendant
for two whole minutes
before she sighed
your oversized bag
back to the front
with carry-ons stowed
securely in the overhead bins.
Two minutes is short
beside a six-hour flight—
just enough time
so the bird
been long gone.
The Definitive, Actual World (after Szymborka’s “Interview with a Child”)
Well, so what if your eyes take up most of your head?
(One could choose to find that helpful,
in the event of neck strain, for instance.)
Between feet armed with tiny suction cups
and those powerful translucent wings, you could go
anywhere in the room your little thorax desired.
But there you are, vigilant, perched
on the very tip-top of the fruit salad,
wasting those golf ball eyes
watching over your shoulder
(without turning your head)
for the pink mesh of a swatter,
hopelessly bemoaning the way
you are “a fly caught in a fly.”
I’m asking you:
You’ve a whole ovipositor to yourself
and the best you can think to do
is secrete a hundred teensy eggs
across the juicy ridge of a ripe tangerine?
If it’s really true—if there’s no escaping
yourself—I’d want to say it’s a failure
Get the book: Wisława Szymborska: Poems New and Collected