Friday, March 31, 2017

Alter Ego

I recently purchased a collection of poems from Paraclete Press, called Astonishments by Polish poet, Anna Kamienska. Thumbing through it this week, I found this delightful poem. I don't know much about the poet or the translator or the playwright whose work sparked this poem, but I relate to the message. I'll bet you will, too. (The book is out of print, but Paraclete Press has put the entire work in pdf format online.)

Alter Ego
by Anna Kamienska

One day I decided to invent a poet
who would write instead of me
and would also instead of me agonize over not writing
somewhat pathetic
somewhat ordinary he wouldn't feel ashamed 
of apostrophes exclamations points
he could at the same time look at the world
through my eyes and eyes not mine
for they make us rigid fix us
in what should be changeable
full of surprises like time
I wished to leave myself
without ceasing to be me
Did anyone ever manage it
I laughed like the bride in The Wedding
     Enter oh ghost

A certain homeless ghost did accept the invitation 
incarnated within my darkness
and making himself comfortable declared
     I'm great at silence

**The Wedding is a poetic play by Stanislaw Wypianski (1869-1907) built around the image of th wedding feast, a Walpurgian-like dance with ghosts.

And of course, April is National Poetry Month. I have a project that has been sitting in the wings for some time. I've set aside April for my alter ego to work consistently on it. I might post an update on my progress, but I'm not ready to make it public.  So I'll be working quietly this month.

I will be participating in the Kidslitosphere Progressive Poem. And I will post on Poetry Fridays, sharing some of my favorite adult poet friends that you might like to know.

Amy hosts the roundup today at The Poem Farm.


  1. Thanks for sharing Kamienska's "Alter Ego" poem and introducing her poetry to me, Dori. Good luck with your April project, looking forward to its reveal when the time comes. =)

  2. Hi Dori! I LOVE this Alter-Ego poem and, especially, that her alter ego is male! Such a good idea to foist one's writing angst onto an alter-ego. I'm going to try that for sure! :)

  3. I love this poem! And I, too, am going to invent a poet. Best best wishes to you on your project. Sometimes it is good to keep something just to yourself. xx

  4. I'm hoping to encourage my alter ego to work quietly and steadily this month, as well. Clearly it won't be easy with so many interesting NPM activities afoot. Wishing you (and me) luck, Dori!

  5. That extra person hanging around when the time is right would be nice, I think. Best wishes for your project, Dori!

  6. How beautiful! I think we all at times wish we could invent an alter ego, someone who wasn't gripped with self-doubt, and could write freely, without worries!

  7. Oh yes, I can definitely relate to the alter ego in this poem. Good luck working on your project.

  8. All the best with your writing project this month Dori.