Jenny Davidson of Light Reading inspires me -- as always -- by sharing two of her favorite poems. I only have one best-loved poem but it's a stunner that never fails to make my heart skip a beat. From East Window by W.S. Merwin, a $16 paperback I clearly remember saving up to buy in college (what little money I had went to: dog food, gas, cigarettes, coffee, books, toast at the diner, in that order). It's a translation, with Aijaz Ahmad, of a poem by Mirza Ghalib (1797 - 1869, Urdu).
If it ever occurs to her to be kind to me
she remembers how cruel she's been
and it frightens her off
Her temper's as short as my tale of love is long
much too long
bores even the messenger
and I despair
and lose the thread of my own thoughts
and can't bear to think of someone else
setting eyes on her
Do you have a favorite poem? Do tell.