Poem of the Week: “Waiting for a Poem,” by Lulieta Lleshanaku


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.

Published by cpoetrymsu

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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