Friday, April 20, 2007

Samurai Song -- a Poetry Friday post for National Poetry Month

Who am I, if not a loyal member of the Colbert Nation?

Last night, on the Colbert Report, Stephen engaged in a Meta-Free-Phor-All with Sean Penn. The moderator was Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the U.S., who judged whether the correct metaphors were given as answers. Sadly, Mr. Penn won (10,000,000 to 1). However, Mr. Pinsky wanted to promote his poetry, and "Samurai Song" was selected to be the next "#1 poem in America." (Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" is close to being on notice.)

The poem, "Samurai Song", comes from Pinsky's collection Jersey Rain, which came out in 2001. "Samurai Song" has since made it into some collections as well. Pinsky based the poem on a 14th century Japanese poem, and he used the form to structure his poem.

Here's the first two stanzas:

When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

Here is a link to the complete text of the poem, which is worthy of a Poetry Friday mention even had Stephen Colbert not ordained it so. The focus on the life of a samurai, and on the idea of poet as samurai, is lovely, the imagery just right.

1 comment:

Robert said...

A poet on network TV. What ever next?