Muriel Rukeyser

(December 15, 1913 – February 12, 1980 / New York City)

Previous Month January 2014 Next Month
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
Modern Poem of The Day
Select a day from the calendar.
Would you like to see the poem of the day in your e-mail box every morning?
Your email address:
  Subscribe FREE
  Unsubscribe

St. Roach


For that I never knew you, I only learned to dread you,
for that I never touched you, they told me you are filth,
they showed me by every action to despise your kind;
for that I saw my people making war on you,
I could not tell you apart, one from another,
for that in childhood I lived in places clear of you,
for that all the people I knew met you by
crushing you, stamping you to death, they poured boiling
water on you, they flushed you down,
for that I could not tell one from another
only that you were dark, fast on your feet, and slender.
Not like me.
For that I did not know your poems
And that I do not know any of your sayings
And that I cannot speak or read your language
And that I do not sing your songs
And that I do not teach our children
to eat your food
or know your poems
or sing your songs
But that we say you are filthing our food
But that we know you not at all.

Yesterday I looked at one of you for the first time.
You were lighter that the others in color, that was
neither good nor bad.
I was really looking for the first time.
You seemed troubled and witty.

Today I touched one of you for the first time.
You were startled, you ran, you fled away
Fast as a dancer, light, strange, and lovely to the touch.
I reach, I touch, I begin to know you.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: food, childhood, people, today, war, children, water, time, dark, death, light, poem, song, child, running

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (St. Roach by Muriel Rukeyser )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 356 Points Juan Olivarez (1/11/2012 8:13:00 AM)

    Tell me who you associate with, and I will know you. What a dirty woman you must have been Muriel. Creepy poem too advocating Sainthood for a roach, disgusting. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carolynn Shaw (11/7/2007 1:30:00 PM)

    Muriel,

    How sad, how shameful we are. Cruel in our habits and traditions. You shame me, you shame us - no, you show us our shame and allow us to breathe. Thank you for this poem.

    Respectfully,
    Carolynn (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. I Will Give You Air, Ismim Putera
  2. Seduction Theory, Md. Ziaul Haque
  3. Late-night Lullaby, Ismim Putera
  4. A PRELUDE (To December), Vinaya Joseph
  5. Lucien, Joseph Narusiewicz
  6. Ghazal - Qyamat Ho Gai Hay, Bano Ali
  7. Stand Up Witness Your Dream, Fatima Nusairat
  8. Zero Turkey Wing, Havilah
  9. Reading and Writing, umaprosad das
  10. The Afternoon, Leong Ming Loong

Poem of the Day

poet Oliver Wendell Holmes

Life is real, life is earnest,
And the shell is not its pen –
“Egg thou art, and egg remainest”
Was not spoken of the hen.

Art is long and Time is fleeting,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Sharon Olds

 

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  3. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  4. A Late Walk, Robert Frost
  5. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  6. Oh, the places you'll go!, Adens Kamwi
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. Bright Star, John Keats
  10. Where The Mind Is Without Fear, Rabindranath Tagore

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]