Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I recently started getting Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac" delivered to me daily by email. The "Almanac" begins with a poem, and it's really no surprise, but I have a very different taste in poetry than Garrison Keillor. So I thought I'd start posting a few poems I might choose if I were in charge of the poems at "The Writer's Almanac." Of course, I'm going to have to respect copyright, so I'll start with something from the 12th century. I've wondered if Pablo Neruda might have been familiar with this one.


Every night I scan
the heavens with my eyes
seeking the star
that you are contemplating.

I question travellers
from the four corners of the earth
hoping to meet one
who has breathed your fragrance.

When the wind blows
I make sure it blows in my face:
the breeze might bring me
news of you.

I wander over roads
without aim, without purpose.
Perhaps a song
will sound your name.

Secretly I study
every face I see
hoping against hope
to glimpse a trace of your beauty.

--Abu Bakr al-Turtushi

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