Pick-a-Poem: Cintia Santana


Hello, blog readers! Welcome to another installment of our Pick-a-Poem series. Every Wednesday, we feature a poem here on the blog. Hopefully it’s something you’re interested in, and maybe you’ll find a new favorite poet. All of our poems come from Poetry Daily, which is a really awesome site that features a new poem every single day! If you’re looking for even more new poetry, be sure to check them out. Today we’re featuring a poem called Portrait of a Marriage as Library After Air Raid, London, 1940 by Cintia Santana.

According to her bio page on Poetry Daily, Cintia Santana is the author of Forth and Back: Translation, Dirty Realism, and the Spanish Novel (1975-1995). Her work has also appeared in publications such as RHINO, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Sycamore Review, and The Threepenny Review. Her poem, “Qasida of Grief,” was selected by C.D. Wright as the winner of the 2013 Wabash Poetry Prize. She currently teaches poetry and fiction workshops in Spanish at Stanford University.

Portrait of a Marriage as Library After Air Raid, London, 1940 by Cintia Santana

Luck has left
the tidy shelves of books intact

and a leaded window in the back:

each square divided into
smaller, beveled panes. They defy

and say survive, survive.
Three men in bowler hats
stand before the shelves and browse.

As if oblivious to the ruins of the house,

the terrors of the night, they study spines,
reflect. Wear woolen overcoats amidst the char.

A timber holds the standing walls apart.
Under rubble, a ladder and a covered chair, crushed.
The archive, leather-bound and made to last.

What once was roof reveals the vastness
of the sky. Inside becomes outside

and everywhere the shock of light.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured poem! For more posts like this, click right here.

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

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