Vox Populi

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Katy Giebenhain: Forget Beauty

For translators, who carry meaning across frontiers 

to other cultures and countries.*       

                                                      – Jim Wayne Miller

Forget family, inheritance,

the name

of any mountain, holler,

creek, county, neighbor you know.

But especially, forget beauty.

Because they’re deaf

to your beauty.

Make it their water, their anger

their lungs, their ticking clocks,

their children’s children.

Preach past the choir.

Turn the truth. Plough it,

catch it, thread it, hand-carry it

from one world to another.

Sky-write their horizon with facts.

Occupy them with facts.

Open-mouth-kiss-them with facts, 

with battlefield improvisation,

with missionary zeal.

You know both languages.

Do it right. They’ll never know

what hit them.

*Epigraph to the bilingual edition of Copperhead Cane   

by Green River Writers/Grex Press

Copyright 2017 Katy Giebenhain. From Sharps Cabaret (Mercer University Press, 2017).

Katy Giebenhain is a poet advocating for access to essential medicines. She is the author of Sharps Cabaret, winner of the Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry.

2 comments on “Katy Giebenhain: Forget Beauty

  1. Barbara Huntington
    December 30, 2021

    And, I fear, they may still not see the facts, or the clocks, or even know you were there. A ghost, a slightly disturbing gnat.


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This entry was posted on December 30, 2021 by in Poetry and tagged , , , .

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