Today is the last day of April, the last day of National Poetry Month; but that doesn't mean it has to be the last day you take time to read and consider a poem recommended by a friend or a loved one, a poem you discovered randomly in a book store or heard being read on the radio or on YouTube. With summer on the horizon, there might be entire hours (days?) to devote to exploring poetry, reveling in its music, taking delight in its challenge.
Our final poem was recommended by no fewer than three SLUH Juniors from three different sections of Junior English taught by different instructors. Rather than have them compete with one another, we'll simply share the poem and let you come to your own understanding of its power and its challenge.
The Breaking of the Glass
He observed that the rabbis present were very gay.
So he seized a costly goblet...and broke it
before them. Thus he made them somber.
Make me a wedding glass of crystal
to outlast the shrillest of pitches
of a solid scream,
the heel above the temple
and the people dragged
along the shards.
One true form of tears
is heaps of glass--
From windows with their faces kicked-in
and the family's crystal
and all the unlucky mirrors of the houses
now with their several million faces
that cannot reflect.
God gave Moses a mouth
that brimmed with glass
that when he spoke
his pain was keen
and the blood came to his face.
This was His way of saying:
I am the Lord
My voice is in
the gusting of the wind
and the stuttering of men
and the breaking of the glass.