[Pindar says the poets must guard the apples of the muses]
by Antonella Anedda
Published in the Paris Review – Issue no. 231 (Winter 2019)
Pindar says the poet must guard the apples of the Muses
like a dragon, but I grew up among Christians,
I pierced my dragon side by scraping off the scales
the way I clean fish in the sink.
A barely saintly gesture, but surgical.
You need gloves, scissors,
and a lot of running water.
And listening to its splash I start to meditate.
I stare at the blue tiles in front of me
not thinking about time, yet thinking about it,
just tiling it, square by square
across the enamel that frames the stove.
Let’s get to work, I say to myself.
I throw the fish in the oil
and watching them fry I think of what the poet must do
as guardian of apples, about those Muses.
Clearly, the dragon is irrelevant,
if anything, we need a hen,
the creature that hatches the egg of verses:
white for the void, yellow for the words.
—translated by Patrizio Ceccagnoli & Susan Stewart
Poems of the Week for The Monarch Writers.com
are chosen by our resident poet Jennifer Patino of ThistleThoughts.com