I love poems and subscribing to Poetry gives me a lot of new (to me) poets and poems every month. It's like a word buffet in my mailbox.
In May, the focus of the issue was poetry in translation.
I'd never given translated poetry much thought but figured what the heck, why not.
So I did my usual: every morning after I put on my shoes I read a couple poems.
And truthfully none of them really resonated with me. I didn't feel the connection.
But I kept reading cause yanno, I don't like giving up on stuff. (Which explains a lot about me, actually.)
And then I came across this poem:
translated by Josué Coy Dick, Juan Coy Teni & Jesse Nathan
from the K'iche'
And here in this root-place we call K'iche'
we're going to write down the words,
we're going to write down the ancient words,
which are the source of everything done
here in this root-place called K'iche'.
And we're going to teach, tell, show how
the world was made, how light was brought
by the Maker, the Shaper
the Sustainer, the Origin who is named
Hunahpu Possum, Hunahpu Coyote,
Great White Peccaray, Wide-Eyed Coati,
Lofty Feathered Snake, Heart of the Lake,
Heart of the Sea, Great Potter
of Plate and Bowl, and also called Midwife,
Matchmaker, Gatherer, named Xpiyacoc
Xmucane, Guardian, Sponsor,
two times a midwife, two times a matchmaker —
all told as the story is told in K'iche'.
K'iche' is a Mayan language (I had to look it up) spoken in Guatemala (I had to look that up too.)
What I didn't have to look up at all was how this poem (only a small portion included here) resonated with me.
Words make the world come alive.
I mean I knew it (or believed it)
And God said "Let there be light"
but I'd kinda forgotten.
Have you had a good surprise after a bit of a slog?
Share in the comments column!