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Carolyn Forché - 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.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 5975 times | Comments and analysis of The Testimony Of Light by Carolyn Forché Comments (2)

The Testimony Of Light - Comments and Information

Poet: Carolyn Forché
Poem: The Testimony Of Light
Year: Published/Written in 1994
Poem of the Day: Jan 11 2013

Comment 2 of 2, added on March 11th, 2005 at 4:06 AM.

This poem has now been edited to show its proper writer.

Gunnar from Sweden
Comment 1 of 2, added on February 24th, 2005 at 7:19 PM.

This poem is NOT written by Lawrence Ferlinghetti! It is written by Carolyn Forché.

Mars from United States

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