Every month we take a look at a new poem that allows us to be a part of a human experience collectively.
Let us know what you think of our monthly poems by commenting below:
At the Time of My Birth, by Oliver De La Paz
is a picturesque poem that will get your year started with fresh child-like eyes. The sharp contrast between new life and the humdrum of what becomes of them is what drew me to this poem. The newborn uses a cacophony of words such as nerves, boiling, snapped and throbbed to describe these strange and novel experience. A harsh reality they have unwillingly entered. The child states, "I kept/a fist in my mouth..." as if to indicate the need to have a familiar tactile feeling close by. The word 'kept' let's the reader know the fist is recognizable from initial birth and the 'fist' indicates the uncertainty and and jarring awareness that is settling into this 'strident' child. This unweildy feeling begins to dissipate as the child's world becomes smaller and smaller. From outdoor sounds of cars and unrelenting world to the sweeing feeling of being embraced, this child reminds us that when the noise outside becomes too much, we need to find a soft, natural space to breathe.
At the Time of My BirthI wondered how long I could go ononce the rain had stopped. My nerveswere wedged like wings under a hat.Corncobs bobbed in boiling water. I kepta fist in my mouth. I was strident.The neat house curved like a draining sink.Hot cars shined outside. Their enginessnapped like a chamois. I neverwanted to leave. The streets were suet-thick.The hucksters had tinny voices. They hadswollen drums. They had gravel underfootand tongues that could peel citrus.Radios throbbed. The wet hushof my breath flung itself to mother.The soft dark skin. The sweetcurl of the arm. The hum.