Joy Harjo

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

To hyacinths and Ilya Kaminsky ~

A Toast
 
To your voice, a mysterious virtue,
to the 53 bones of one foot, the four dimensions of breathing,

to pine, redwood, sworn-fern, peppermint,
to hyacinth and bluebell lily,

to the train conductor’s donkey on a rope,
to smells of lemons, a boy pissing splendidly against the
trees.

Bless each thing on earth until it sickens,
until each ungovernable heart admits: “I confused myself

and yet I loved–and what I loved
I forgot, what I forgot brought glory to my travels,

to you I traveled as close as I dared, Lord.”

Ilya Kaminsky

About This Poem:
"This piece is from the unfinished manuscript Deaf Republic.  This story of a pregnant woman and her husband living during an epidemic of deafness and civil unrest was found beneath the floorboards in a house in Eastern Europe.  Several versions of the manuscript exist."  -- Ilya Kaminsky

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