Thursday, April 7, 2022

National Poetry Month: Week 1

To celebrate National Poetry Month, several of us are sharing poetry with you on Thursdays in April. Today's poem is about something we can all use more of, wherever and whenever we can find it. It's about HOPE. 

I love this poem because it speaks eloquently to something I often find difficult, praising the mutilated world. In the face of refugees, war, executioners, and sometimes oblivion, the poet reminds us that though the world may be mangled and marred, we must still look for and honor even the smallest signs of hope. 

Try to Praise the Mutilated World
by Adam Zagajewski
Translated by Clare Cavanagh

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees going nowhere,
you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.


Adam Zagajewski, "Try to Praise the Mutilated World." Without End: New and Selected Poems, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002.
You can read more about the poet here


Be sure to check in with Kym, Kat, and Sarah for more hopeful poetry today, and join us next Thursday for more poems in celebration of National Poetry Month. (And remember that any time is good for poetry, not just Thursdays in April!)


  1. Beautiful, Bonny! Wow! And thank you for another new-to-me poet! :)

  2. What a beautiful poem, Bonny. Thanks so much for sharing it today! I am always in awe of poets . . . who can so capture a moment, a feeling with their words. But those who translate poetry? They are in another realm altogether! Happy Poetry Month! XO

  3. What a powerful poem Bonny. A great choice for Poems of Hope. Thank you for sharing.

  4. This poem is such a beautiful reminder that even a world with so much heartache also holds much beauty.

  5. That poem creates beautiful pictures of things worthy of praise. I particularly liked the parts about June because it's my favorite month.

  6. Well, this poem is certainly appropriate in my house today! I have been tackling my "I don't want to do this!" list today, which mainly consists of making phone calls begging, um I mean requesting service. It was always a headache, but these days it is a perfect storm of ignorance, lack of respect, and a total lack of the definition of service. (With your recent move, I am sure you can attest to this.) I feel like I am in the twilight zone! So, I am going to sit in this chair and look at my stunning cherry trees that are in full bloom. Thank you for sharing this poem.

  7. How beautiful and appropriate in these times. I love the bittersweet echoes that the poem reveals.

  8. What a touching poem and a good reminder that the world is never perfect.


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