Tuesday, April 7, 2015

En Eski Ask Siiri by Jessica Jopp

Columbia River Gorge. Craigwolf.com
Today I wanted to share with everyone one of my favorite love poems by Jessica Jopp called “En Eski Ask Siiri.” If you want to hear Jopp read the poem aloud you can visit her poem’s webpage on The Poetry Foundation website.
With all poems I enjoy, I always love reading them aloud so I can get acquainted with its rhythm or the texture of the words and how they feel on my tongue. Reading aloud also makes me feel closer to the work. The words almost become a part of myself or become the narrative that I live by.

If you usually read poetry silently, try reading this poem or a poem you cherish aloud. See how it changes in meaning and how the words flow and how you naturally fall into the rhythm of the poem.

En Eski Aşk Şiiri
By Jessica Jopp  

The Oldest Love Poem
(For Susan)

Back from Istanbul, she gives to me
the photograph she took inside
the Archaeological Museum’s
blue tiled hush, of a tablet
carved in terra cotta from Nippur,
written in Sumerian.

Delicate etches, a lift of riverbed
where the summer waters ran
glistened on this piece of earth
the earnest working hand,
a pause between the lines to contemplate
cedars’ ornate overhanging
leaf-work become inseparable

from the carving.  Maybe reading sky,
reading wind, or tree sounds
beside the sound of clay
shaped to carry a human mark.

Maybe it says     we are so elegant
in our exchange that looking at each other
the trees whisper their contented green
across any distance to be here
branches heat-satiated
full in our veins of holding.

Maybe it says      when we spoon,
we spoon each other a river
we find in our arms the curving
edges of the loving bed
become a shadowed riverbank
from which night animals will bend
and from our abundant dreams
to ease their thirst, will drink.

Maybe it says      in our hands
the night sky we first held
between us in the glowing
amorphous float reaches
the underside of leaves
as every sentry in the moon’s keep
finds more of it to give away

tonight again the fragrant sky
etches luminous travel
with beads from tree to tree
above this terra cotta,
above us as we sleep.