Thursday, 8 October 2009

National poetry day

In celebration of National Poetry Day, I want to share one of my all time favourite poems. I found it in an anthology when I was about 20 and it shook me out of myself. Wonderful that many years later, it still has that power for me. Enjoy.

Ordeal by Nina Cassian

I promise to make you more alive than you've ever been.
For the first time you'll see your pores opening
like the gills of a fish and you'll hear
the noise of blood in galleries
and feel light gliding on your corneas
like the dragging of a dress across the floor.
For the first time, you'll note gravity's prick
like a thorn in your heel,
and your shoulder blades will hurt from the imperative of wings.
I promise to make you so alive that
the fall of dust on furniture will deafen you,
and you'll feel your eyebrows like two wounds forming
and your memories will seem to begin
with the creation of the world.

Translated by Michael Impey and Brian Swann