Center for Poetry intern Arzelia Williams said this about her choice for this week’s poem: “I chose this poem in particular because of something Cindy Hunter Morgan said at our last Peckham workshop. It was emphasizing becoming a better writer and poet by reading more writers and poets. I thought about the poet’s approach to write about waiting to get inspiration (her guests). Too often writer’s block has been a result of waiting for the action and paying little attention to the setting.”
Waiting For a Poem
I’m waiting for a poem,
something rough, not elaborate or out of control,
something undisturbed by curses, a white raven
released from darkness.
Words that come naturally, without aiming at anything,
a bullet without a target,
warning shots to the sky
in newly occupied lands.
A poem that will well up in my chest
and until it arrives
I will listen to my children fighting in the next room
and cast my gaze down at the table
at an empty glass of milk
with a trace of white along its rim
my throat wrapped in silver
a napkin in a napkin ring
waiting for late guests to arrive. . . .
Luljeta Lleshanku, “Waiting for a Poem” from Child of Nature. Copyright © 2000, 2006, 2010 by Luljeta Lleshanku. Translation copyright © 2010 by Henry Israeli and Shpresa Qatipi. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.