Thursday, October 15, 2020

Poetry on Thursday

I have been so taken with Barbara Kingsolver's second volume of poetry, How to Fly, that I ordered her first book of poems, Another America/Otra America. Published in 1998, Kingsolver has written poems about war, parenting, personal/national trauma, man's inhumanity to man, abuse, family and human rights, and social justice. Additionally, the poems are published in English on the right-hand page, and in Spanish on the left-hand page. 

These poems are powerful, disturbing, and haunting, and the fact that they are accessible in both Spanish and English makes them even more so. 

Ordinary Miracle
Barbara Kingsolver

I have mourned lost days
when I accomplished nothing of importance.
But not lately.

Lately, under the lunar tide
of a woman's ocean, I work
my own sea-change:
turning grains of sand to human eyes.
I daydream after breakfast
while the spirit of egg and toast
knits together a length of bone
as fine as wheatstalk.
Later, as I postpone weeding the garden
I will make two hands
that may tend a hundred gardens.

I need ten full moons exactly
for keeping the annual promise.
I offer myself up: unsaintly, up
transmuted anyway
by the most ordinary miracle.
I am nothing in this world beyond the things
one woman does.
But there are eyes that once were pearls.
And here is a second chance where there was none.

Kingsolver, Barbara. "Ordinary Miracle." Another America/Otra America, Seal Press, 1998. 
You can read more about the author here

I wish you mindfulness, peace, ordinary miracles, the ability to recognize them, and some poetry as this week winds down.


  1. You have convinced me that I really need to get my hands on some of her poetry (the Spanish would be lost on me, but I'm still impressed by it because of the challenge of translating poetry especially).

  2. What beautiful words... I need to get a book of her poetry! Thank you for sharing (and any poem with a knitting analogy is just perfect!)

  3. What a beautiful poem, Bonny! Thanks so much for sharing it. I so look forward to your Thursday poetry posts. XO

  4. Funny, my husband and I were just speaking about ordinary miracles last night when we watched a pre-Covid 19 Saturday Night Live. The mood in the show was so much happier, lively, and one of celebration. Not so much with the current ones. Why do we take things for granted so much when things are going well? Just human nature, I guess, but this is another reminder not to take things for granted. Beautiful poem, Bonny. I hope you are able to note all the ordinary miracles in your day today.

  5. That's another beautiful poem. Thank you.

  6. Thank-you Bonny! I look forward to this each week.

  7. I think of this as a miracle : Because crowds are not safe, Rhinebeck Sheep and wool is virtual . Ive already gone to a vendors showing . Tomorrow AL ANDI GET TO GO TO SHOWMEMYOUR RHINEBECK SWEATER TOGETHER VIRTUALLY!

  8. every day is an ordinary miracle focusing on nature, food on the table, comfort of a home. I miss many things but I am blessed.

  9. My copy of How To Fly arrived yesterday (finally!), but oddly, the day before I picked up my copy of Another America and read a few poems. That must be why the new book arrived, no? Thank you for sharing Kingsolver's amazing poetry.

  10. That's a wonderful poem. She has such a way with language. I might have to get a copy of that older book.


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