The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Sunday


My Nightingale
By Rose Ausländer


My mother was a doe in another time.
Her honey-brown eyes
and her loveliness
survive from that moment.

Here she was --
half an angel and half humankind --
the center was mother.
When I asked her once what she would have wanted to be
she made this answer to me: a nightingale.

Now she is a nightingale.
Every night, night after night, I hear her
in the garden of my sleepless dream.
She is singing the Zion of her ancestors.
She is singing the long-ago Austria.
She is singing the hills and beech-woods
of Bukowina.
My nightingale
sings lullabies to me
night after night
in the garden of my sleepless dream.

--------

From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in the Sunday, October 31 Washington Post Book World, this week on Eavan Boland's After Every War, a collection of the work of nine German-speaking women poets who wrote in the decades surrounding World War II. "The title," notes Hirsch, "comes from the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska, who notices with a kind of wry domestic wisdom that 'After every war somebody must clean up.'" The women poets "have a particular angle of witness that comes from powerlessness, from being vulnerable, injured, marginal, excluded. Most were exiles...dispossession is a key theme. They recognized what they had lost." Ausländer is also represented by this poem:

Motherland

My Fatherland is dead.
They buried it
in fire

I live
in my Motherland --
Word

--------


Had a quiet family day today. Went to younger son's soccer game at a gorgeous park where the field was surrounded by colorful trees with softly falling leaves, then came home and carved pumpkins with both kids before taking the older one to a friend's for a sleepover. But I was also quite sick to my stomach; still not sure whether this is from leftover sushi, possible flu or just stress. We were supposed to go to a party tonight at the home of psu_jedi but I couldn't even keep my head up by late afternoon, which I feel terribly about as I have not seen her husband since a science fiction convention before they were married. Out of desperation I napped for a couple of hours and am going to bed early, despite the time change, as soon as this is posted.

The Halloween plan is to retrieve older son and go hiking at Scott's Run, then have pumpkin soup for dinner (and summer sausage but I doubt I will be up for that), and then trick or treating. We take turns taking the kids out and staying home to give out candy. Plus my parents are getting home after a week in Florida and I am sure we will take the kids over to show off their costumes. So tomorrow there may be colorful leaf photos, river photos, jack-o-lantern photos or all of the above. Happy Halloween and Good Samhain!


My younger son's school class in their Halloween costumes.


Here is my son and his friend at the school costume parade, which had to be held indoors due to inclement weather.


Here he is again, the happiest boy in the world for the moment because he came closest to guessing the number of candy corn in this jar and won it. He has been very generous about sharing with his parents...he let me have three.


He also specifically requested that I take this picture of their class fish, which lives beneath the roots of a plant.


Our pumpkin, mid-carving and scooping. When my stomach is better I will be eating these seeds, which I toasted.
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