The wonderful Kapka…



There are certain truths that hold universally in poetry. One of the more axiomatic is that one must  tap into a great reservoir of feeling to write good poems. I immediately think of Ted Hughes “Birthday Letters”, exemplary not only in the amount of psychological damage suffered by its author, but also in the resourcefulness in which the husband struggles to create one of Literature’s most moving eulogies; poems which are rooted in loss, insecurity and nostalgia. That’s all well, but there are precious few that use the conceit of the weather (yes, and whoever said conversations about the weather were the last refuge of the unimaginative?) to convey deep emotions.

Kapka Kassabova’s poem is one of those twisty little masterpieces that do exactly this.

Here is “Postcard from Paradise“:

There’s nothing like a tropical cyclone
to usher in the end of summer
in a scenic house with the perfect friends.
The situation is this:

the rivers have risen overnight,
the mountains become eclipsed.
The sea-birds flap like dirty laundry.
The bitter ocean saps the wine.

Besides, the islands have made
their tedious point about the virtues
of standing still, and the water is
no longer tempting and forever cold.

Moreover, the meat is eaten,
the book spines are broken,
the unrelenting happiness of couples
darkens the soul. In other words,

the unlived life beckons
from the other side of the cyclone
from the mainland reached by roads
cut off by floods. Yes, Help!
Love from all of us.

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