Lynn Strongin – Hodie

Strongin LE P&W March 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing March 2023

Hodie, poems by Lynn Strongin.


This day
I will rattle pots & pans
I will forgive the moon in the sky, real, not just in a child’s story-book.
I will do what rituals I must without resentment but with forgiveness

This will be a compassion day:
For being born in the slot when the war began & when the virus was not yet under control

It ran up & down my spine
Took my legs
At last gave me voice which I let out, sky the color of camel: not liturgy, more amnesty.
The color of my coat. Take care when you fill the glass of water to the brim.
Take care when you hug your lover: let God in.

I knew I was on a roller coaster…

a toy drive
Shaped itself like a boy’s toy in my mind.
A rain-dweller, I too am crossing a floating bridge. A small companionship, my cat.

My city is wrapped around me: a box of water for mute exhaustion a backpack
To fill with dream buildings
Ponds and pull-offs in Central Park: wide-eyed in Greenwich translation
of shower into sun.
Resilience bodes happiness.

The lake glazed over
So a duck cracks it
Leaving scarred map: the green pupils of my eyes dilated
My roller coaster shot the curve.
The toy drive left one giraffe, the globe circling in his mirroring eye; you did not marry
me because you loved me then, but for all time.

Who can tell

…me that my prayer is glass, merely—that fragile like a ballerina who
This day, hodie, hodie. Celebrate. Clap hands. Blow the bugle.

That the world’s wars won’t come to an end,
That that object in a man’s hand is a sword, not a feather.
I do overdose on pills for pain.

And who can tell me that my ponies who prance across the prairie are running
from flame
we have won thru to forgiveness.
Having hit the sweet spot, igniting compassion, who dare tell me this day or
any other that this is the sweet hereafter come. . .

© Lynn Strongin

Lynn Strongin is a Pulitzer Prize nominee in poetry. A recipient of a National Endowment Creative Writing Grant, nominated twice for Pushcart Prizes, Lynn Born in NYC at the end of the dirty thirties, she grew up in an artistic Jewish home in New York during the war. Earliest studies were in musical composition as a child and at The Manhattan School of Music. Took a BA at Hunter college, MA at Stanford University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Lived in Berkeley during the vibrant sixties where she worked for Denise Levertov and took part in many peace demonstrations. Poems in forty anthologies, fifty journals; Poetry, New York Quarterly. Forthcoming work in Poetry Flash and Otoliths. Canada is her second home. The late Hugh Fox said Strongin is the “most exciting poet writing today.’ Danielle Ofri wrote to her, “you tear the veil off that mysterious disease polio.” Strongin’s work has been translated into French and Italian. Her forthcoming book is THE SWEETNESS OF EDNA. She recently received a ten-thousand dollar George Woodcock Grant for Writers from The National Endowment for the Arts. This grant has  greatly facilitated her work at the present time.

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