Poem in the morning

November 14, 2007, [MD]

My wonderful friend sent me a few poems by Wisława Szymborska for breakfast. Just yesterday I was riding the subway, which sometimes displays poems instead of ads on the inside of the cars, and came across to wonderful poems that I copied down and sent to her. I love this way of reading poems - catching fragments on a subway ride, emailing each others, pasting them in MSN windows. I could never sit down and “read” a poetry collection, I need to stop and reflect after each poem. But somehow I find it wonderful to be emailing my friends links to poems, and not just Youtube videos.

Brueghel’s Two Monkeys

This is what I see in my dreams about final exams:\ two monkeys, chained to the floor, sit on the windowsill,\ the sky behind them flutters,\ the sea is taking its bath.\ The exam is History of Mankind.\ I stammer and hedge.\ One monkey stares and listens with mocking disdain,\ the other seems to be dreaming away —\ but when it’s clear I don’t know what to say\ he prompts me with a gentle\ clinking of his chain.


Notes from a nonexistent Himalayan expedition

So these are the Himalayas.\ Mountains racing to the moon.\ The moment of their start recorded\ on the startling, ripped canvas of the sky.\ Holes punched in a desert of clouds.\ Thrust into nothing.\ Echo- a white mute.\ Quiet.

Yeti, down there we’ve got Wednesday,\ bread and alphabets.\ Two times two is four.\ Roses are red there,\ and violets are blue.

Yeti, crime is not all\ we’re up to down there.\ Not every sentence there\ means death.

We’ve inherited hope-\ the gift of forgetting.\ You’ll see how we give\ birth among the ruins.

Yeti, we’ve got Shakespeare there.\ Yeti, we play solitaire\ and violin. At nightfall,\ we turn lights on, Yeti.

Up here it’s neither moon nor earth.\ Tears freeze.\ Oh Yeti, semi-moonman,\ turn back think again!

I called this to the Yeti\ inside four walls of avalanche,\ stomping my feet for warmth\ on the everlasting\ snow.

(more poems by the same author: 1, 2, 3)

Stian\ (thanks to Wikipedia for the photo of the poet, Catnip Intoxicating @ flickr for the photo of the monkeys, mckaysavage @ flickr for the photo of the peak, HAMED MASOUMI @ flickr for the photo of the flames)

Stian Håklev November 14, 2007 Toronto, Canada
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