Thursday, July 9, 2015

5 Poems in 5 Days

5 Poems in 5 Days

First Poem

Dean Pasch Patty Dickson Pieczka and Maja Trochimczyk have each tagged me to do the 5 poems in 5 days thing. 
As I understand it, this means I'll be posting a poem a day for 5 days. Then I'll find someone and tag her to do 5 poems in 5 days, and on and on until the whole internet is nothing but poems and ads for James Patterson's writing workshop!
Here's the first poem. It's one that Maja Trochimczyk published in her wonderful anthology of poems about Chopin (Cherries with Chopin: A Tribute in Verse, available at Amazon).
The poem is about my dad and his love of Chopin. My dad had literally no education. He was an orphan from the age of 5 and grew up on his uncle's farm in Poland. His uncle never let him attend school, and as a result my dad had no schooling, was never introduced as a child to any kind of culture. He didn't know anything about books or art or music.
But in the concentration camp, he met professors, musicians, and artists, and one of the things they told him about was Chopin. My dad loved to listen to Chopin. He felt that he and Chopin shared a soul.

A Good Death

My father says
in time he'll learn
to listen to the Polonaise
and not hear Sikorski
or Warsaw, the hollow surge
and dust of German tanks,

only Chopin,
his staff of clean notes
and precise legato.

His dreams will be
of crystalled trees,
papered gifts
in red half light,
the smell of warm sheds
and girls drawing milk
from waiting cows.

The snow will fall
and go unnoticed.


A Good Death first appeared in Lightning and Ashes, my book about my parents.


Martin Stepek said...

Fabulous poem John, and with my Zen-stripped mind I think you could have made each verse a poem in its own right, though it is wonderful as a whole too. Keep up your great work and keep sharing.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Martin's comment. Leaving on vacation in the morning, so no time to do analysis, but just to say - beautiful.