Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Sridala Swami

REVISIONS

REVISIONS

REVISIONS

Before the poet was a poet
nothing was reworked:
 
not the smudge of ink on twelve sets of clothes
not the fearsome top berth on the train
not a room full of boxes and dull windows
not the cat that left its kittens and afterbirth in a pair of jeans
not doubt.
 
Before the poet was a poet
everything had a place:
 
six years were six years                            parallel lines followed rules
like obedient children
[the Dewey Decimal System]
                                                                           homes remained where they’d
been left.
 
Before the poet was a poet
many things went unseen:
 
clouds sometimes wheedled a ray out of the sun| parents kept photographs under their
pillows| letters never said everything they wanted to| lectures were interrupted by a
commotion of leaves |                     | every step was upon a blind spot.
 
Close

REVISIONS

Before the poet was a poet
nothing was reworked:
 
not the smudge of ink on twelve sets of clothes
not the fearsome top berth on the train
not a room full of boxes and dull windows
not the cat that left its kittens and afterbirth in a pair of jeans
not doubt.
 
Before the poet was a poet
everything had a place:
 
six years were six years                            parallel lines followed rules
like obedient children
[the Dewey Decimal System]
                                                                           homes remained where they’d
been left.
 
Before the poet was a poet
many things went unseen:
 
clouds sometimes wheedled a ray out of the sun| parents kept photographs under their
pillows| letters never said everything they wanted to| lectures were interrupted by a
commotion of leaves |                     | every step was upon a blind spot.
 

REVISIONS

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère