Musing on food and cooking ...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Poetry Month

Brave Sir Robin has done several posts in honor of National Poetry Month. Go over to his place and check it out. Today's challenge is to leave a comment in haiku!

Dear readers may not realize that yours truly was actually quite a good poet at one point in her youth. And this is not even my own thinking. Yours truly was published and everything. But I stopped writing after college, because I found it emotional destructive. And I undertook an expository writing career, and really, it is too damn hard to write all day and then write when I get home. Nowadays, when I think I should get started on writing again, I lean more towards short stories and novels. And, someday, someday, I might actually do one!

In honor of National Poetry Month and my own history, please enjoy this poem. It plays off of my interests in using mythology for women's empowerment, reclaiming, if you well, and feminist mythmaking. In college, I wrote a lot of poems focusing on mythology and even self-published a little chap book called Divinity (2 whole copies!). I also did a series on depression in spring time, some of which are quite good. If I find them, I will try to share them. This particular poem here, I originally wrote in English and then translated it into Latin. I think the Latin version is better. It is more lyrical and there are some Latin words that have their own special power, words we don't have in English. For example, "flores meis in crinis sicut in noctis umbris taedae flamantur." The literal translation in English is "The flowers in my hair like torches flamed in the dark shadows ." Very Yoda-esque. But, for those who know any Latin, a taeda (taedae, pl) is the torch used during the wedding processional.


There had never been shadow
until the ground split
and a man and his chariot
rushed onto the field like something
spilling from the bowels of the earth.
Flesh burned from my bones
as he took me into
the underworld and the flowers
in my hair flamed like torches
in the gloom. I thought
everything lost, no more
dances or maidenhood. I thought
I would die in the arms of the king.
But a hunger ached my belly;
each pomegranate seed
I ate filled me, and I
knew this was
the first moment I had
lived. My life opened
to the dark like a moonflower.
I became a queen.


Numquam fuerat umbra
dum terra se scidit
et vir currusque
sicut aliquid ex terrae
visceris efundens
ad campum cucurrerunt.
Ossis ex meis caro crematur
dum me ad inferiora duxit
et flores meis in crinis
sicut in noctis umbris
taedae flamantur.
Omnia periri putavi,
non diu chorae virginitasque.
Moriri me regis
in bracchiis putavi.
Sed meo in alvo
erant dolor et fames.
Cum quoque semine puniceo
quem edi eram plena.
Me primum vivi
hoc in momento scivi.
Ad tenebras nigras
aperta est vita mea
sicut lunae flos.
Regina fio.

1 comment:

Brave Sir Robin said...


Beautiful Heather. Really.

Thank You for that.