SESTINA FEATURING SIX WORDS COMMONLY USED ON THIS BLOG
I certainly wouldn't claim to be the best
though I suppose no one could quibble with "American"...
Either way, I'm here to share adventures
from the Berkshires, post by post,
happy to be blogging here, a guest
of our esteemed editors, recently abroad.
In just three weeks, I too will be abroad,
combing the streets of Jerusalem to find the best
coffee and tabouli, staying as a guest
in the apartment of an extpatriate American.
I hope for easy wifi in order to post
about Hebrew, psalms, syntax, adventures.
Rabbinic school, it turns out, contains adventures
on many levels. Sometimes I go abroad
without ever leaving this familiar post
at my piano-shaped desk, the best
place I know for spotting common American
fauna: wild turkeys, the woodchuck that's a guest
beneath our yew. Old Norse gestr is the root of "guest,"
akin to "stranger, enemy" -- what adventures
in vernacular! Our hilltop house sprawls, American
style. Where I grew up, the skies were a broad
canvas for thunderclouds, but here what's best
is how the mountains cradle us, a post-
pastoral fantasy. In this post
I aim to be the picture of a grateful guest.
Can I entertain y'all? I'll do my best,
I want to own both sides: adventures
and roots, the binary collapsed. The broad
brushstrokes that describe "American."
I ponder the implications of this American
life. Writing poems (be they modern or post-)
roots me whether I'm home or abroad.
Who would have guessed
that temporary blogs, these ad ventures,
would yield so much worth reading? Here the best
American poets gather, host and guest,
stringing lights between the posts of our adventures.
Whether home or abroad, I wish you all the best!
-- Rachel Barenblat