Carolyn Forché is an American poet, editor, translator, and human rights advocate.
Forché was born in Detroit, Michigan, on April 28, 1950, to Michael Joseph and Louise Nada Blackford Sidlosky. Forché earned a B.A. in International Relations at Michigan State University in 1972, and MFA at Bowling Green State University in 1975. She taught at a number of universities, including Bowling Green State University, Michigan State University, the University of Virginia, Skidmore College, Columbia University, San Diego State University and in the Master of Fine Arts program at George Mason University. She is now Director of the Lannan Center for Poetry and Poetics and ... more »
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Carolyn Forché Poems
What you have heard is true. I was in his house. His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol
Poem For Maya
Dipping our bread in oil tins we talked of morning peeling open our rooms to a moment of almonds, olives and wind
The Testimony Of Light
Our life is a fire dampened, or a fire shut up in stone. --Jacob Boehme, De Incarnatione Verbi Outside everything visible and invisible a blazing maple.
The Morning Baking
Grandma, come back, I forgot How much lard for these rolls Think you can put yourself in the ground
The page opens to snow on a field: boot-holed month, black hour the bottle in your coat half voda half winter light. To what and to whom does one say yes? If God were the uncertain, would you cling to him?
The Garden Shukkei-en
By way of a vanished bridge we cross this river as a cloud of lifted snow would ascend a mountain. She has always been afraid to come here.
In Spanish he whispers there is no time left. It is the sound of scythes arcing in wheat, the ache of some field song in Salvador. The wind along the prison, cautious
Horses were turned loose in the child's sorrow. Black and roan, cantering through snow. The way light fills the hand with light, November with graves, infancy with white. White. Given lilacs, lilacs disappear. Then low voices rising in walls. The way they withdrew from the child's body and spoke as if it were not there.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
What you have heard is true. I was in his house.
His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His
daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the
night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol
on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on
its black cord over the house. On the television
was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles
were embedded in the walls around the house to
scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his
hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings
like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of