So I’m about to meet my lyric poetry class for the first time. Here is one of my favorite examples of LP, by the Estonian poet Jaan Kaplinski, as translated by Sam Hamill:
The washing never gets done.
The furnace never gets heated.
Books never get read.
Life is never completed.
Life is like a ball which one must continually
Catch and hit so that it won’t fall.
When the fence is repaired at one end,
It collapses at the other. The roof leaks,
The kitchen door won’t close, there are cracks in the foundation,
The torn knees of children’s pants…
One can’t keep everything in mind. The wonder is
That beside all this one can notice
The spring which is so full of everything
Continuing in all directions–into evening clouds,
Into the redwing’s song and into every
Drop of dew on every blade of grass in the meadow,
As far as the eye can see, into the dusk.