Snippet Saturday #19: Kshatriya (Poem)

Kshatriya–
the warrior caste–
is a suit of armor
that has never quite fit
until now when my heart
is blazing with a fire
that doesn’t suit
a pacifist
and I find myself thinking
that even if the alternative
is being hurt, I don’t want to
hide in the shadows with
my heart tightly locked
in a box
it might be a risk,
but warriors are courageous
and nothing screams courage
more than the audacity
to wear my heart on my sleeve.

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Poem: Between Two Rains by Nora May French

It is a silver space between two rains;
The lulling storm has given to the day
An hour of windless air and riven grey;
The world is drained of color; light remains.
Beyond the curving shore a gull complains;
Unceasing , on the bastions of the bay,
With gleam of shields and veer of vaporing spray
The long seas fall, the grey tide wars and wanes.

It is a silver space between two rains:
A mood too sweet for tears, for joy too pale—”
What stress has swept or nears us, thou and I?
This hour a mist of light is on the plains,
And seaward fares again with litten sail
Our laden ship of dreams adown the sky.

Foreign Friday: Wildflower by Na Tae-joo

(Romanized)

Jasehi boaya
Yeppuda
Orae boaya
Sarangseureopda
Neo do kureota

(English)

You have to look closely
To see that it is pretty
You have to look long
To see that it is lovable
You are the same

There’s something about hearing a poem in another language. Hearing the words without understanding them means I listen more to the sound than to the words themselves. If poetry were only focused on the meaning, it could just as easily be written as a short story. Poems have a cadence that feels more apparent, somehow, in another language.

You can hear the poem recited here.

Foreign Friday is an introduction to Indian and Korean culture in honor of my YA contemporary novel (tentatively titled) Shadows Fall Behind.

Poem: From Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 12.01.45 AMMaggie Stiefvater is absolutely incomparable. This, unsurprisingly, is one of the reasons she’s one of my absolute favorite authors. Ballad isn’t my favorite of her books (that honor goes to The Raven Boys, although I also love the Scorpio Races and the Shiver trilogy). Despite that, I found parts that spoke to me to the point where I had to jot them down or find some way of keeping them so I wouldn’t ever forget them.

I think any writer can relate to this. We will live forever because of our words. Because of them, we’ve been immortalized. This short poem from Ballad captures that idea so simply and beautifully.

Poem: Sarah Kay – If I should have a daughter…

This isn’t by any means new, but my lovely younger sister (who is into spoken word poetry) has gotten me interested in spoken word poetry as well. I can’t help but be deeply and emotionally affected by these poems and the way they encompass human experiences.

This has led me to realize, too, that all poems sound better when heard rather than just read. I may be late in the game, but I’m glad I understand it now. The realization has started a new tradition for me: every day, I read one poem aloud.

It’s making me fall in love with the language all over again. Everyone should give it a try!