7/19/23 Workshop – A Poem by Wisława Szymborska

                   Poetry Reading

To be a boxer, or not to be there
at all. O Muse, where are our teeming crowds?
Twelve people in the room, eight seats to spare
it’s time to start this cultural affair.
Half came inside because it started raining,
the rest are relatives. O Muse.

The women here would love to rant and rave,
but that’s for boxing. Here they must behave.
Dante’s Inferno is ringside nowadays.
Likewise his Paradise. O Muse.

Oh, not to be a boxer but a poet,
one sentenced to hard shelleying for life,
for lack of muscles forced to show the world
the sonnet that may make the high-school reading lists
with luck. O Muse,
O bobtailed angel, Pegasus.

In the first row, a sweet old man’s soft snore:
he dreams his wife’s alive again. What’s more,
she’s making him that tart she used to bake.
Aflame, but carefully-don’t burn his cake!
we start to read. O Muse.

Reflective writing prompt:
Start with “O Muse.”


2 thoughts on “7/19/23 Workshop – A Poem by Wisława Szymborska

  1. Elizabeth

    O, muse,
    While it’s nice to know you,
    I realize I don’t need to depend on you.
    To paraphrase my friend Glinda,
    I have always had the power within me,
    I just had to learn how to access it.

  2. Anita Lim

    O muse, who fell out of the sky
    curly hair baggy pants
    twinkling green eyes
    cheeky humour
    Thank you for the deep thaw
    the glacial melt
    slowly dripping icicles
    sure steady unfreezing
    anticipating thunderous roars
    as spring comes
    O muse

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