Friday, December 12, 2014

How I Was

A poem today by Ukrainian poet Oksana Lutsyshyna.

The Cat
by Oksana Lutsyshyna

father asked: write a poem about me
how I was young, how I was, period
played the guitar, chased a soccer ball in the field,
bouncing it with my head high into the sky

how I returned home
to our apartment
that smelled of oatmeal and Saturday laundry
with a tapestry hanging on the wall

(on the tapestry
a man and a woman
woven in red
ride a pair of black horses)

no, father, I kept saying, I can’t...

read the rest here.

Poets in Ukraine celebrated like stars
Dave Bakke: Ukrainian war sparks poetry protest
An article about Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan

These Four Corners is the Poetry Friday round-up host.

14 comments:

jama said...

Interesting poem. Love the specific details and conversational tone. :)

Robyn Hood Black said...

So much suggested beneath the surface - loss and change and tension? Intriguing lines:

"a red cat with white spots
a red cat with a white voice" -

Thanks for sharing, Tabatha!

Ruth said...

Beautiful! It is sometimes so hard to write about the people and things that are closest.

LInda Baie said...

It feels sad, I think, with the father yearning for assurance that he is remembered. Beautiful poem, Tabatha.

Tabatha said...

I'm so interested in people's reactions! To me, the father has this nostalgic feeling, wanting to be remembered, but there is some humor there -- although the poet feels she cannot write about her father directly, he's still in her poem.

Julie Larios said...

That's what I most liked, Tabatha - that despite the fact the cat is mentioned so often, it's the father that she's writing about, the father who thinks she will never write about him. and the cat is whimsical (spotted red and white, a white voice) but the father's world is so real - the smell of oatmeal and Saturday laundry, the fedora, the church choir. lovely poem. Thanks for posting it.

Carol said...

I love visiting on Saturday morning and reading people's comments and then your response. Many of my reactions are the same- love the details, especially the smell of oatmeal. I wonder about her father and why he wants to be in the poem and how he is, even though the poet says she can't write about him. Most of all though, when I read poems on Poetry Friday, I wonder about the "chooser's" back story- how and why they came across a poem and chose to post it.

Tabatha said...

Carol, an interesting thing to wonder! I wanted to share a Ukrainian poet, and this was my favorite of the poems that had been translated. (I think it's good for us to notice periodically how very important poets are in other parts of the world.)

Author Amok said...

The finale of this poem really wowed me, Tabatha. So much going on here -- the family relationships, the nature of writing and creation, memory. Thank you for posting this one.

Diane Mayr said...

if I don’t make it into your writing, at least let the cat remain

A killer line, on many levels.

Tara Smith said...

This poem makes me really sad...I think it's the line that Diane quoted. There is a sense of recognized loss.

Mary Lee said...

I'm glad Carol asked that question, and thank you for answering!

You find the most interesting poems!

Linda said...

Sometimes it is hard to write about the ones we love, but I think that when we do, the person feels honored. I agree with Mary Lee, this is a most interesting poem!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

"it's too close, and so it doesn't seem real"

It's been my policy not to read other's comments before I add my own, but now that I'm having trouble making the rounds before Sunday morning, I think I should...
such an interesting discussion! For me that line above is what the poem is about--perspective. I think this is what young writers often struggle with--"the things that are my life are so thoroughly around me that I can't see them to write about, so I try instead to write about the faraway things that I can point to..."