A Book of Luminous Things

Thanks to Facebook I have reconnected with a former student I had in fourth grade during the 1978-1979 school year.  While visiting my blog she quickly came to the conclusion that I love poetry.  She recommended an anthology I had never even hear of. I quickly ordered a copy of A Book of Luminious Things, An International Anthology of Poetry edited by Czeslaw Milosez.  I really have grown to love this volume of poetry. It contains a wide variety of poets from all over the world and poems have all been translated into English.I have found a whole new collection of poems I had never read. What really stands out about the book is how it is arranged. Many anthologies are arranged by themes, but some of the themes he chose are unique such as Epiphany, Woman's Skin, and The Secret of A Thing.  Each section begins with a short essay by Milosz about the theme.
The poem I chose to post today is from the section The Secret of a Thing. Milosez says in the introduction " The modern poet discovered how difficult it is to describe a thing, giving it center state, withdrawing himself or herself,'objectivizing'."

Colors are words' little sisters. They can't become soldiers.
I've loved them secretly for a long time.
They have to stay home and hang up the sheer curtains
in our ordinary bedroom, kitchen and alcove.

I'm very close to young Crimson, and brown Sienna
but even closer to thoughtful Cobalt and her distant eyes and untrampled spirit.
We walk in dew.
The night sky and the southern oceans
are her possessions
and a tear-shaped pendant on her forehead:
the pearls of Cassiopeia.
We walk in dew on late nights.

But the others.
Meet them on a June morning at four o'clock
when they come rushing toward you,
on your way to a morning swim in the green cove's spray.
Then you can sunbathe with them on the smooth rocks.
-----Which one will you make yours?"
by Rolf Jacobsen
 Translated from the Norwegian by Roger Greenwald
Thanks Shawna for the inspiring recommendation. I keep it by on my nightstand for before bed reading!


  1. oooh I see a Christmas gift for me !!! sandy

  2. IEG: Great!!! Photo (again...)


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