I was born in minutes in a roadside kitchen a skillet
whispering my name. I was born to rainwater and lye;
I was born across the river where I
was borrowed with clothespins, a harrow tooth,
broadsides sewn in my shoes. I returned, though
it please you, through no fault of my own,
pockets filled with coffee grounds and eggshells.
I was born still and superstitious; I bore an unexpected burden.
I gave birth, I gave blessing, I gave rise to suspicion.
I was born abandoned outdoors in the heat-shaped air,
air drifting like spirits and old windows.
I was born a fraction and a cipher and a ledger entry;
I was an index of first lines when I was born.
I was born waist-deep stubborn in the water crying
ain’t I a woman and a brother I was born
to this hall of mirrors, this horror movie I was
born with a prologue of references, pursued
by mosquitoes and thieves, I was born passing
off the problem of the twentieth century: I was born.
I read minds before I could read fishes and loaves;
I walked a piece of the way alone before I was born.
Ett stort tack till poeten och översättaren Gregory Pardlo, född 1968 i Philadelphia, uppvuxen i New Jersey, för att vi fick publicera ”Written by Himself”, som ekar av Sam Cooke men har Parlos särskilda ton, både specifik och universell. Dikten är hämtat från The Best American Poetry 2010. Copyright © 2010 by Gregory Pardlo. Reprinted by permission of Gregory Pardlo.
Och ett stort grattis till Gregory Pardlo – igår tilldelades han Pulitzer-priset 2015 för sin senaste diktbok, Digest (Four Way Books). Skrev juryn om dikterna; ”clear-voiced poems that bring readers the news from 21st Century America, rich with thought, ideas and histories public and private.”
Intervju i Guernica Mag.