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I Used to Be a Bird

November 23, 2009

[As for me, I used to be a bird]

As for me, I used to be a bird
with a gentle white womb,
someone cut my throat
           just for laughs,
           I don’t know.
As for me, I used to be a great albatross
and whirled over the seas.
Someone put an end to my journey,
without any charity in the tone of it.
But even stretched out on the ground
I sing for you now
my songs of love.

 

by Alda Merini / translated from the Italian by Susan Stewart • from Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini • Princeton University Press

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