Category Archives: Poetry Month 2012

how’s your taste these days?

During the entire month of April we’ll be stuffing poetry down throats and into hands and pockets, giving away sealed-up poems like fortunes, discounting our entire Poetry section by 10%, and going around singing sonnets set to the tune of “Volare”. You’ll see — there’ll be something in all of this that’ll make your toes sing.

I Have Not Loved Enough

I’ve never been in love enough
with chairs.
I’ve always turned
my back on them.
I can’t tell this from that
or hold one in the mind’s eye long enough.
The ones at home I clean
with a glance
in seconds flat.
It takes effort now
to visualize
the chairs I sat on as a kid,
ordinary chairs of wood
belonging to our dining room
which, once we gave the place a face-lift,
were demoted to the kitchen.
The most ordinary
of ordinary chairs.
Yet we never understand
the real
simplicity of chairs.
We can strip down
the humblest of chairs,
cut away for good an angle here,
the curving edges there,
but never grasp the chairness
of chairs.
I’ve never been in love enough
with anything
to realize that it takes
assiduous lingering,
not snatching things up on the wing.
I let the moment disappear
and get no thrill from it.
I disappear myself. It’s only when
submerged in things
I exist. And if I make the effort
now, it’s wasted,
for truth is blunted
to banality.
I’ve fooled around with far too many things
to really see them,
dismissed too many things as ornaments.
Now when I let simplicity
seduce  me,
a passion for profundity
has spoiled my taste.

by Fabio Morabito
translated by Geoff Hargreaves
anthologized in The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry

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assuming there is such a thing


Today is the first day of April. Many things are celebrated on this day. Here at Portrait, we’re celebrating poetry. See you back here tomorrow with more. And that’s no lie.

The Secret

Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of
I who don’t know the
secret wrote
the line. They
told me
(through a third person)
they had found it
but not what it was
not even
what line it was.  No doubt
by now, more than a week
later, they have forgotten
the secret,
the line, the name of
the poem.  I love them
for finding what
I can’t find,
and for loving me
for the line I wrote,
and for forgetting it
so that
a thousand times, till death
finds them, they may
discover it again, in other
in other
happenings.  And for
wanting to know it,
assuming there is
such a secret, yes,
for that
most of all.

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Filed under Poetry Month 2012