Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mice and men

It was such a pleasure to hear Adam Zagajewski read this evening--it's been years. Adam was this year's Sojka Poet at Bucknell. He read several poems from his new book, Eternal Enemies, including two in both English and Polish, and a series of four "self-portraits" written over several years--I thought the third poem was just stunning, achieving the kind of incantatory liftoff that's characteristic of his best longer poems.
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Coffee with Eduardo was fun this afternoon. I'm not naming any names.
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We caught a 4th mouse this morning, larger than the other three. I'm really hoping this is the last of them. I'm starting to feel really weird walking down the alley with a mouse in a paper bag, scoping for a place to set it free. . .
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A man carries his door,
the door of his house,
because when the war is over
he is going home

where he will hang it
on its hinges
and lock it, tight,
while he tries to remember
the word for welcome.

If his house is gone
when he returns,
he will raise it from rubble
around his door.

If he cannot return,
the door will remember
the rest of the house
so he can build it
again, elsewhere.

And if he cannot go on,
his door can be a pallet
for his rest, a stretcher
to carry him, his shade
from sun, his shield.

:: Richard Hoffman, in The Literary Review (2005)

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