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Such a convergence
of talent and commitment to things poetic and Polish deserves
applause, certainly, whatever the results, and the results are
stupendous, really. But, as Laurie Gomulka Palazzolo, says in
this essay I invited her to write, "We cannot get away from
depth and intensity if we are born Polish."
I am a Pole.
In my veins flows the blood of patriots, scholars, scientists
I am a descendant of Copernicus, who would reach for the stars,
A Madame Curie unraveling the mysteries of nature,
Yes, I am a Pole.
Laurie A. Gomulka Palazzolo
One of poetry's elemental functions is to discover and preserve
national and/or group identity. If you want to find out about
the Greeks, you read Homer. If you want to find out about the
English you read Chaucer and Shakespeare. If you want to find
out about the Americans, you read Whitman or Emerson or Emily
Dickinson. If you want to learn about the Poles, you read Milosz
or Szymborska or Rosewicz.
Gail home for lunch. Grade school;
Black Panthers meant African animals,
but porch monkeys and eggplants, my family
called bad news. My heart clubbed.
Dad looked up from TV and I introduced
my black friend.
Lisa L. Siedlarz
Not to feel defeat.
I stared into the water,
My skin licked red by steam...
It's strange, I think of Warszawa
Every time I bathe,
It snowing there in May,
People pity me
When I say
I grew up in Detroit
I hear them thinking
I am indeed
for the first time
the end a dying
a home is not
a home without
sweat and fiber.
as a face. I return
Many More »
door puffs to a halt behind me,
and my dirt-dripping haul from the garden.
As if I were not her mere namesake,
but Panna Maria Herself,
Mary Krane Derr
You are falling as many of us fall under gravity's weight
You are flying
From where we all come.
You are leaning against time and earth
Deer marks trace after you
A dog falls inside you with such an obviousness
In its eyes that it makes my flesh creep.
He arrives at the Midwest
without a passport,
pulls up to the pump: Ellis Island
of the mind. Is this where
they check us in?
Puts back the nozzle,
plops down his VISA card, starts
signing the forms. Can't
remember the name they give him here.
The poet reads aloud, a South Indian language
I've never heard of. But here in Warsaw
it's translated into Polish-declaimed
by a washed-up TV actor whose last role
was Solidarity Informer. Who can blame
him, dumping vodka into his glass of tea?
soaring through the square-
animal that doesn't fly
with June, but caws the wind,
its prophecy the daggered beak,
its gullet overflowing worms.
the reeds beside the river.
It is the gypsy charm
that can't fix crystal shards,
our father always dead
of heart attack
the velvet purse of zlotys lost,
the barroom talk turned nasty
and bleeding to the streets.
after the shriek, the shrill,
we've crawled beneath a tree,
wingspan made of shadows ...
country is a dollhouse,
a shadow box of birch trees
carved with hearts, displays
of small-scale chestnuts
rotting to be picked.
childhood is a church
where no one comes to light
a votive for the glass-eyed dead,
the collection plate
an empty hand. The ground
is papered with a thousand flakes
of cut-out snow.
In a woman's life,
all lists become her poetry,
so that a recipe for cake
is just the verse form
honey dripped in lines
and cups of flour.
I said so little.
Days were short.
I said so little.
I couldn't keep up.
My heart grew weary
The jaws of Leviathan
Were closing upon me.
A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto
Bees build around red liver,
Ants build around black bone.
It has begun: the tearing, the trampling on silks,
It has begun: the breaking of glass, wood, copper, nickel,
Of gypsum, iron sheets, violin strings, trumpets, leaves, balls,
Poof! Phosphorescent fire from yellow walls
Engulfs animal and human hair.
You caused others.
Forget the suffering
Others caused you.
The waters run and run,
Springs sparkle and are done,
You walk the earth you are forgetting.
A valley and above it forests in autumn colors.
A voyager arrives, a map leads him there.
Or perhaps memory. Once long ago in the sun,
When snow first fell, riding this way
He felt joy, strong, without reason,
Joy of the eyes. Everything was the rhythm
Of shifting trees, of a bird in flight,