Valzhyna Mort

13740002824_97fbd71c56_mI had the good fortune to attend a poetry workshop by Michael Vizsolyi who presented on eastern European poetry. He took the time to put this body of poetry into perspective by talking about the history of this area of the world. The region has been challenged by repeated conquest and cultural suppression. We know its more recent history has been tarnished again with genocide. The resulting body of poetry is dense with emotion. In fact this workshop’s main emotional topic is hopelessness. The poetry we reviewed was moving. We read in particular a poem by Valzhyna Mort, who wrote a poem called “A Portrait of Mother In Fall.” Following this reading, we had a brief writing practice. We were asked to reflect poetically on some element of this work and on the topic of hopelessness. I could not hug that emotion creatively in that moment. I felt irrepressibly hopeful and grateful. My poem reflects my very different life:


She rises up the silvery clouds of dreams which wisp away
The window holds light that captures her gaze
A robin sings and blue sky limns a maple tree
On a deep breath veins in the blue pull her up from the bed as if by a string into day
And she sits at the edge to digest more green, now held in window’s grasp
Along with grasses dancing in the wind, she looks into the heart and wonders…

Hold close the goodness of song and green and blue
She tells herself this as she meets the day, after day
A cup of tea in hand, words grow tightly packed
The pen yearns to stroll across a page and her fingers must follow and follow.
What a gift, she thinks, that it might be any words she wants.

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