Monday, July 27, 2015

The Voice of a Poet - Anne-Marie Kegels

I'm a sucker for poetry.

Thanks to my high school English teacher, Michael Savage, I learned how to appreciate the words that stood the test of time in various meters and rhymes. I made my acquaintance with John Keats, William Kees, Marianne Moore, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, William Butler Yeats, Langston Hughes (we share a birthday!), W. S. Merwin, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes and many others. Humans have always needed poets to explain the world in a such a way that can not be described. We need the eyes and soul of a poet to convey that which we love, fear, hate, feel and dream.

Thanks to Memphis' own Burke's Books, I'd like to share with you their Poem For Monday - Nocturnal Heart by the French poet Anne-Marie Kegels, translated by W. S. Merwin. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I hope it makes you want to read not only her work but many others.

Nocturnal Heart
by Anne-Marie Kegels (W. S. Merwin, trans.)

Master of blood I am yours.
O tireless captain
upright on the plains of sand,
at night, at night I hear you
march toward a doubtful sea
with footsteps falsely restrained
--at that time I touch my breath,
I search for you with my bare wrist,
I defend you against the seaweed,
the salt, the wakened fish,
we faint under a wave,
people tell of tow that are drowned,
of a fog mowing the beach.

Midnight descends, covers my lips,
keeps me from calling for help.
We float, forgotten by day.

(photo by Kimberly B. Richardson, copyright 2014)

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