We Have a Poetry Contest Winner!
Read Susan Comninos’ poem
It’s the penultimate day of National Poetry Month, which means today is Poem in Your Pocket Day in New York City! Many are celebrating by carrying a favorite poem in … well, you can probably guess where.
Earlier this month, we asked our readers to get in touch with their inner 11th century poet and reimagine so-called “poet laureate of the Jewish people” Yehuda Halevi‘s words. And today, we’re proud to announce the winner: Susan Comninos, whose poem you can enjoy below. And then later, maybe put it in your pocket?
“Can I do what I’ve vowed to and must?”
– Yehuda Halevi
Thou shalt not
bear the winds higher
than they would blow. Thou shalt never
prick halls of glass
with a bow and arrow. Thou shalt fail
to sway the sky
with the ceiling, stone
through the floor, leaves
with feeling – the dense weight
of a dank heart. Thou
shalt entertain no note
without instruments, sloth
without toil – sweat from strong languor.
Thou shalt not stroke
wood of others’
to a barren house. Thou
shalt bring in bees
from the hive, swear
allegiance to their stings – sing alone
of a scant
incandescence: of a lion’s
fraught den, and no honeyed signs.