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    Poem: “The Widow Offers Herself to Life”

    By Rhina P. Espaillat

    March 16, 2021

    Available languages: Español


    Make me your herald, Life: send me ahead
    to hail you, as the earliest light is doing
    for each day, and the scent of coffee brewing.
    Or—cozier still—make me your maid instead,
    to serve your coffee, wash you, fresh from bed,
    dress you, and part the curtains for your viewing
    of the earth, as young and constantly renewing
    itself as you. What joy! Let it be said—

    my gratitude!—to you, who opened wide
    the world to me; who saw fit to present me
    with sound and taste; you by whom I was dressed

    in flesh, which to so many is denied;
    and for a time—oh, generous!—made blessed
    with the one and only lover that you lent me.


    Hazme, vida, quizás tu pregonera

    Hazme, vida, quizás tu pregonera
    de elogios, como elogian la mañana
    el olor a café y la luz temprana;
    o más íntima aún, tu camarera,
    para asearte, y servirte la primera
    taza del dia, y abrirte la ventana
    para que veas la tierra, tan lozana
    y fresca como tú. Qué gusto fuera

    agradecerte así que me trajiste
    al mundo a conocerte; me brindaste
    sonidos y sabores; me vestiste

    de carne que a tantos les negaste;
    y por un tiempo—o, generosa fuiste!—
    qué incomparable amante me prestaste.

    Read an interview with the poet.

    Contributed By RhinaEspaillat Rhina P. Espaillat

    Rhina P. Espaillat, a bilingual poet, is winner of numerous prizes including the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Richard Wilbur Award, and (twice) the Howard Nemerov Sonnet award.

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