Monday’s Verse 5-17-2016


I came in search of formal poems; I sort of found something else. I mean, the poem below is formal, all right — a pair of quatrains, don’t get much more clear and set than that — but it’s so short and lapidary… hits you like a Dickinson piece, or cummings. Both of whom were fierce formalists in their own right, I suppose.

Well, I thought I’d run a few more meter-and-rhyme poems in the coming weeks, but we might as well start way back in the 14th century, when Lal Ded ("ladled," ahem, thank you) was forced into marriage at age 12, became a devotee of Shiva, renounced her worldly possessions, and wandered naked, reciting proverbs and poems. This one comes to us in a translation by one of our favorite 2015 poets, Jane Hirshfield. -ed.

[I was passionate]

I was passionate,

filled with longing,

I searched

far and wide.

But the day

that the Truthful One

found me,

I was at home.


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