Carolyn Forché

(28 April, 1950 - / Detroit, Michigan)

The Testimony Of Light


Our life is a fire dampened, or a fire shut up in stone.
--Jacob Boehme, De Incarnatione Verbi

Outside everything visible and invisible a blazing maple.
Daybreak: a seam at the curve of the world. The trousered legs of the women
shimmered.
They held their arms in front of them like ghosts.

The coal bones of the house clinked in a kimono of smoke.
An attention hovered over the dream where the world had been.

For if Hiroshima in the morning, after the bomb has fallen,
is like a dream, one must ask whose dream it is. {1}

Must understand how not to speak would carry it with us.
With bones put into rice bowls.
While the baby crawled over its dead mother seeking milk.

Muga-muchu {2}: without self, without center. Thrown up in the sky by a wind.

The way back is lost, the one obsession.
The worst is over.
The worst is yet to come.



1--...is the question asked by Peter Schwenger in Letter Bomb.
Nuclear Holocaust and the Exploding Word.
2--...is from Robert Jay Lifton's Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: holocaust, dream, baby, fire, women, house, mother, world, light, lost, wind, sky, death, life, woman

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Testimony Of Light by Carolyn Forché )

  • Gold Star - 15,453 Points Roseann Shawiak (1/22/2014 1:05:00 AM)

    Dark side of life being brought forward through your words in this poem
    painting pictures of the destruction in our minds for life. Intense - stirs up
    emotions within. Very good poem. Thank you for sharing, RoseAnn (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,231 Points Ken E Hall (10/23/2012 7:58:00 AM)

    Life is sealed in stone when fire bombs of mass destruction lie in holes ready for death
    The worst is yet to come. regards (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Open Closed (3/8/2010 9:53:00 AM)

    I really didn't like this poem. smd. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie ari anna arena (11/2/2006 11:51:00 AM)

    as always, a pure and stunning voice. beauty-full... (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. 12 Lines, Gordon David
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. 12 lines of sorrow, Anne Harkonen
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  10. O Captain! My Captain!, Walt Whitman
[Hata Bildir]