Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
July 2nd, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 293,174 comments.
Carolyn Forché - The Colonel

What you have heard is true. I was in his house. 
His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His 
daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the 
night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol 
on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on 
its black cord over the house. On the television 
was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles 
were embedded in the walls around the house to 
scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his 
hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings 
like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of 
lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for 
calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, 
salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed 
the country. There was a brief commercial in 
Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was 
some talk of how difficult it had become to govern. 
The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel 
told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the 
table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say 
nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to 
bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on 
the table. They were like dried peach halves. There 
is no other way to say this. He took one of them in 
his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a 
water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of 
fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone, 
tell your people they can go f--- themselves. He 
swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held 
the last of his wine in the air. Something for your 
poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor 
caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on 
the floor were pressed to the ground. 

May 1978

Share |

Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 13158 times | Comments and analysis of The Colonel by Carolyn Forché Comments (49)

The Colonel - Comments and Information

Poet: Carolyn Forché
Poem: The Colonel
Volume: The Country Between Us
Year: Published/Written in 1978
Poem of the Day: Jun 7 2009

Comment 49 of 49, added on June 11th, 2015 at 10:40 AM.
vPTuYggzovzFZxa

ZQSTER Muchos Gracias for your blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

crorkzz com from Slovakia Republic
Comment 48 of 49, added on May 30th, 2015 at 2:04 PM.
CsWWaQCsMrmHlb

lScixU Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice article.

nick crorkz from Taiwan
Comment 47 of 49, added on April 7th, 2015 at 3:50 AM.
JCHUZbiEPlSUyjdSbP

3N8K9d As a Newbie, I am continuously searching online for articles that can aid me. Thank you

nick crorkz from United States

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, The Colonel, has received 49 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Forché Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links