Week Three: Poems I like

This week’s poem is a love poem by an Iraqi poet called Dunya Mikhail. Mikhail’s website is: dunyamikhail.com

This poem starts off with an exuberance – a connection to the lover: ‘When you respond to my email,/all of the planets swirl about me,/ even Pluto joining in.’

This poem interest me for two reasons:

  1. Mikhail keeps the exuberance and joy alive in the poem right to the end – read the poem to see what I mean!
  2. This poem also introduces us to ‘Ishtar’ who is the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. I like reading poetry where I learn new things.

Your Email by Dunya Mikhail

When you respond to my email,
all of the planets swirl about me,
even Pluto joining in.
The caterpillar announces herself as a butterfly.
The grapes ripen for me
and stretch their tendrils to my neighbor’s garden.
Ishtar comes back to life
and sings her song
for the ruined cities,
washes the dust off her face,
spins like an elegant dancer,
sends all the soldiers back home
to the arms of their loved ones,
and bandages the broken leg
of this little bird,
who was also wounded
in the land between two rivers.
She counts the holes
in her robe
and goes to sleep.
But I am still waiting for your email.
The screen reflects my tired eyes
and the hands of my watch are embracing
in the middle of your silence.