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National Poetry Month

try to praise the mutilated world

By April 19, 2013 Headlines

Spring is taking her time to arrive.

Our neighbours to the south face yet another grim reality about modern life. Another president delivers a eulogy for victims of a horrific tragedy as black helicopters buzz about jittery cities.

My own hometown is considering adding a casino to our waterfront that would torpedo the culture of a city that I love.

Tips of yellow peep through the dirt in my yard, but flurries still threaten their immediate arrival.

Perhaps a little help is needed today. Fortunately, it’s April. National Poetry Month. One of a collection of poems shared in The New Yorker in the days after the attacks on September 11th, 2001, this gem is also included in a favourite on my bookshelf, a gift from my mother, She walks in beauty.

Try to Praise the Mutilated World

Try to praise the mutilated world.

Remember June’s long days, and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.

The nettles that methodically overgrow,

the abandoned homesteads of exiles.

You must praise the mutilated world.

You watched the stylish yachts and ships;

one of them had a long trip ahead of it,

while salty oblivion awaited others.

You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,

you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.

You should praise the mutilated world.

Remember the moments when we were together

in a white room and the curtain fluttered.

Return in thought to the concert where music flared.

You gathered acorns in the park in autumn

and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.

Praise the mutilated world

and the gray feather a thrush lost,

and the gentle light that strays and vanishes

and returns.

by Adam Zagajewski

Have a good weekend.

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