Sunday, November 4, 2007

from "Return"

by Carolyn Forché
Your problem is not your life as it is
in America, not that your hands, as you
tell me, are tied to do something. It is
that you were born to an island of greed
and grace where you have this sense
of yourself as apart from others. It is
not your right to feel powerless. Better
people than you were powerless.
You have not returned to your country,
but to a life you never left.
in The Country Between Us.

The full poem is long and striking. The whole collection will knock you off your feet.


Leila said...

i'm all over your blog today.

i never heard of her but this excerpt is stunning me. i have to read more. poet of witness - i think i've been looking for this kind of poetry for a long time. tired of the personal and the confessional, you know...

erin said...

she pulls no punches. kind of like a boxer I know.

(oooooh! work that into your tag line: "hits & misses, but pulls no punches")

i went to a reading of hers and was completely tongue tied afterward when she signed my book. i think all i managed was to say that i also had a Slovak grandmother. she had explained that her deceased grandmother was her muse--would shake a rolling pin at her and tell her to write. i loved that image.