1) I was born in a Free City, near the North Sea.
2) In the year of my birth, money was shredded into
confetti. A loaf of bread cost a million marks. Of
course I do not remember this.
3) Parents and grandparents hovered around me. The
world I lived in had a soft voice and no claws.
4) A cornucopia filled with treats took me into a building
with bells. A wide-bosomed teacher took me in.
5) At home the bookshelves connected heaven and earth.
6) On Sundays the city child waded through pinecones
and primrose marshes, a short train ride away.
7) My country was struck by history more deadly than
earthquakes or hurricanes.
8) My father was busy eluding the monsters. My mother
told me the walls had ears. I learned the burden of secrets.
9) I moved into the too bright days, the too dark nights
10) Two parents, two daughters, we followed the sun
and the moon across the ocean. My grandparents stayed
behind in darkness.
11) In the new language everyone spoke too fast. Eventually
I caught up with them.
12) When I met you, the new language became the language
13) The death of the mother hurt the daughter into poetry.
The daughter became a mother of daughters.
14) Ordinary life: the plenty and thick of it. Knots tying
threads to everywhere. The past pushed away, the future left
unimagined for the sake of the glorious, difficult, passionate
15) Years and years of this.
16) The children no longer children. An old man's pain, an
old man's loneliness.
17) And then my father too disappeared.
18) I tried to go home again. I stood at the door to my
childhood, but it was closed to the public.
19) One day, on a crowded elevator, everyone's face was younger
20) So far, so good. The brilliant days and nights are
breathless in their hurry. We follow, you and I.
Lisel Mueller's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Curriculum Vitae by Lisel Mueller )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- "Hope" is the thing with feathers, Emily Dickinson
- O Captain! My Captain!, Walt Whitman
Poem of the Day
- The Indian Villages of Paglets, Bijay Kant Dubey
- Fred Claus Got It Right, Mr. Nobody
- Taron, Pariyon Ke Desh Meri Chandramukhi.., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Chandramukhi, I Haven't Seen You For So .., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Becoming An Essence, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Chosen Path, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- I've Killed, Mr. Nobody
- Treasuring Experience, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Flair, douglas scotney
- Feel the pain, gajanan mishra