the road is still before us

Dear readers, friends,

It feels like both a lifetime ago and just yesterday that I was writing my last April poetry post in the spring of 2020. I hope wherever this finds you, you are holding up okay and still finding some joy in your life despite the hardships of this past year that have etched into our beings in so many different ways.

As many of you know, it has been my tradition since 2009 (!) to share a poem every day of April in honor of National Poetry Month. Confession: I have not read much poetry this past year…perhaps in part because of no daily access to the library, shattered focus from hours of staring at Zoom, and that general pandemic ennui that made it so much easier for us to just watch something streaming after absorbing Too Much News every day. I was very tempted to take a hiatus from the blog this year to spare myself more screen time, but I feel a deep tug, a sense of obligation, not only to you, but to myself, to continue.

And so I find myself back here, humbly trying to reconnect to verse and in turn, to share poetry that I love with all of you. I can’t promise that I will be able to do this daily, but I will try my very best.

The first poem of April is by the great Polish writer and translator Adam Zagajewski (1945-2021), who passed away just last week.

illustration of a bird looking at an anatomical heart by Kristina Closs
Painting by my dear friend Kristina Closs (WoodPigeon on Etsy)

“Wake Up”

Wake up, my soul.
I don’t know where you are,
where you’re hiding,
but wake up, please,
we’re still together,
the road is still before us,
a bright strip of dawn
will be our star.

From Asymmetry by Adam Zagajewski (translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh)

7 thoughts on “the road is still before us

  1. ❤️❤️❤️

    On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 7:31 AM live in the layers wrote:

    > Natalie Jabbar posted: ” Dear readers, friends, It feels like both a > lifetime ago and just yesterday that I was writing my last April poetry > post in the spring of 2020. I hope wherever this finds you, you are holding > up okay and still finding some joy in your life despite th” >

  2. I love this, thank you for continuing the tradition and including me! May you be finding peace and meaning in your days, despite this craziness of a year.

  3. This poem is just what I needed. For me, it connects thematically to “Love After Love” by Derek Walcott. Natalie, thank you, and thank you for your role in turning me on to poetry all those years ago, it has helped in the darkest and brightest times.

  4. Hi Natalie! I’m absolutely thrilled to see you here, posting poems again this month. It’s such a gift you give us (your dedicated readers) & those lucky ones who stumble across your blog at some point or other during the year (who many of us once were too). You are such a spectacular curator of poetry. I can’t wait to see the gems you have on offer this year. Happy National Poetry Month!

    1. Thanks, Brooke! It means a lot to hear from dedicated readers and I appreciate your kind words! ❤

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