Friday, February 15, 2019

Poetry Friday: I Carry Your Heart


i carry your heart with me
 by e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Instead of being at work this week reading love poems with my middle schoolers and dealing with their shenanigans, I've been at home "sheltering in place." Anti-government protests have shut down Port-au-Prince and many other parts of the country. All the news stories are illustrated with photos of giant flames. The protests are over real and serious issues: the local currency, the gourde, has lost 26% of its value against the US dollar in the past 12 months. People who were already living in poverty are unable to eat, let alone send their children to school and access medical care when they need it. Enormous amounts of money have gone missing and are unaccounted for. The protesters want the president to resign and in addition to peaceful mobilization there has been looting and burning and extortion as well.

My students are sending me writing via Google Docs and emails about what they are reading, and I've also been emailing with a friend about her novel, of which I was a Beta Reader (capital letters to emphasize how impressive I feel being a Beta Reader), reading enormous amounts, listening to podcasts and watching Netflix as electricity allows, and thinking about a short story of my own. I also had over neighbors who were climbing the walls and treated them to chai and puppy therapy. I know this all sounds fun, and sure, it is, especially compared to what the majority of the people in this country are dealing with, but I'm so ready to be back at work complaining about how sugar-addled everyone is.

I'm carrying many hearts in mine.

This week's roundup is here. 

Edited to add: if you're looking for a US-based source to read Haiti news in English, the Miami Herald does a good job of covering what's going on here.

11 comments:

Linda B said...

Sad to say our news is saying nothing about your turmoil so I'm glad you've shared so I can look for my own news, hoping to see that something is settled soon, for you, Ruth but also for all those deeply affected. Carrying your heart for them & for your students is a good stance I wish everyone would take. Thinking of you each day!

jan godown annino said...

Thank you for bringing us into your weary world & to knowing something (the protests & shutdowns) that was unknown (at least to ignorant me.) I don't think it was fun at all to shelter in place because you are sensitive & you were thinking all the time about the dangers near the protest area. How wonderful for your students & neighbors that you were able to keep such a positive vibe & help in all the was you can. Wishing you better days & nights. Applauding your courage & Faith.

Alice Nine said...

I heard about a travel ban to Haiti and saw some footage on NPR. I am putting your heart in mine -- praying for you and the people of Haiti, believing for miracles.

jama said...

Sorry to hear about the turmoil over there. We've heard nothing about it -- because you know who ALWAYS dominates the news cycle. Hope things settle down soon and school can be reopened. Meanwhile, thanks for sharing the Cummings' poem -- he's my fave!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Carrying your heart (and those close to you)in my heart, Ruth. I'm glad you are safe, but having learned what I did about Haiti's history when researching to write a gift for you, I'm sorry to hear of yet another tumultuous time of hardship for so many people.

Thanks for being our Beta Reporter.

Jone said...

I’m glad you’re safe. I’m sad that this is happening in your dear home. And sadder that here in the PNW, we know nothing. Thank you for sharing cumming’s poem. Will keep y ou close in hearts and thoughts that peace will come.

Carol Varsalona said...


Ruth, I shall carry you, your students, and your land in my heart and prayers. I am always saddened to hear news of turmoil. It makes me realize that any issues I own are trivial in light of what others are experiencing. Thank you for sharing the news that the NYC area has not shared.

Unknown said...

I had heard of the unrest, and my heart aches for those who can't eat or live with the minimum of what they need. A heart that carries other hearts is the very best kind of heart. My heart will carry prayers for Haiti to come through this with hearts whole.

skanny17 said...

Praying for you, Ruth.

Mary Lee said...

Well, that's what a national emergency really looks like, not what our president wants to pretend the border with Mexico is. And have we heard a peep in our mainstream news about the situation in Haiti? No. And that's just wrong. Your heart is carried in mine.

Michelle Kogan said...

Sending my heart-felt thoughts to you and those that are in need, which sound like many. Thanks for sharing all here. I hope some peaceful compromise can come quickly,