Karen Douglass, The Great Poet Comes to Our Town

Karen Douglass
THE GREAT POET COMES TO OUR TOWN
Padre Ernesto Cardenal
Innisfree Books, Boulder CO

Given his stature, I sit, stunned
by the absence of crowds chanting
his fame from the sidewalk.

He has come to us. I hear his voice,
see that black beret, wonder
why passersby pass him by,

this revolutionary, whose Spanish
I trust even in translation.
I hand him Flights of Victory to sign.

He scrawls in silence, an automaton
whose poems are all I can have of him.
They suffice. He does not need me

to worship him. I would come
to see him as another graybeard
out of time and place, not

a god-sponge come to clean us, not
a man to make of clumsy America
a new Nicaragua of the mind.

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2 thoughts on “Karen Douglass, The Great Poet Comes to Our Town

  1. Karen, today I read your poem for the 4th time, and this time it has grabbed me by the throat. It says so much of fame, adulation – different states of each existence, with superbly crafted lines. Can’t decide which line I like best, but lean toward the last three. Bravo!

  2. This is an extraordinary rendering of what feels like an absolutely real moment. My favorite line(s);

    this revolutionary, whose Spanish
    I trust even in translation.

    What a wonderful thing, that trust!

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